Taggart ‘committed’ to Oregon amid Florida rumors

Head coach Willie Taggart and the Ducks won their first game since quarterback Justin Herbert was on the sideline to start the game. The Ducks defeated Utah in a performance where they dominated on the ground, accumulating 347 rushing yards.

However, some of the focus of Taggart’s press conference was on the rumors surrounding the Florida head coaching position.

“I have not been contacted by anyone,” Taggart told reporters. “I am committed to the University of Oregon and focused on Washington, a big-time game for us this week.”

Taggart, just in his first year with Oregon, wants to be as straightforward as possible.

“Our guys know they can ask me anything and I’m always honest and real with our guys,” Taggart said. “If they ask me about it I’ll tell them the truth. Other than that I’m the same guy I’ve been every week.”

On the field, Oregon is hoping that Herbert can return this week to face Washington. Taggart started teasing his return last week, and it is still unknown whether he will return or not.

“I’m not sure, he’s been drinking a lot (of milk) and he’s getting better,” Taggart said. “Look, we’re going to put Justin out there when we feel like he’s ready to go and again we’re not going to do anything to jeopardize him. If he’s ready this week we’ll play him and if not then we won’t but we’re going to continue to practice him and let him continue to get better but we’re not going to put him out there in harm’s way and let him re-injure himself.”

The Ducks, building off their second Pac-12 victory, are hoping to keep the energy and momentum as they are one win away from a bowl game.

“It was a good practice, lot of smiles, guys running around a little bit with a little pep in their step,” Taggart said. “I think we all know when you win there’s a different vibe around here. It was good to see our guys back in that vibe, back in that mode. It seemed like we got our confidence back and guys were focused.”

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Jack Butler

Jack Butler

I am the sports editor for the Daily Emerald. I cover football and basketball. Email me at [email protected]