Blackman to start at Clemson, Hornibrook will play

Courtesy: Greg Oyster | 247Sports
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By: Brendan Sonnone | Noles247
October 7, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Sports) -- Florida State quarterback James Blackman will start against Clemson this week, according to coach Willie Taggart.

Blackman missed FSU’s last game against NC State recovering from a knee injury, and Alex Hornibrook started in his place.

After a bye week, Taggart said he’s confident starting Blackman given that he was available for an entire week of practice and on Sunday. Both Blackman and Hornibrook are expected to play at Clemson, Taggart said during his Monday press conference.

"They both understand our offense, they both have done a great job of executing our offense," Taggart said. "And they've both done a good job of taking care of the football, which is always important. I like what they both have done for us."

Blackman has completed 86 of 124 passes for 970 yards, 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in 4 games this season. Hornibrook is 44 of 60 for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in 2 games. Taggart likes that both quarterbacks bring different personalities to the table and different skill sets.

"They've both been good at it, you work them in however you see fit to help you win a ball game," Taggart said. "They're both different, different mind sets. Alex, I think, is more business-like. James is, he's going to inspire you to do some things out there, his teammates. But they both execute our offense the way we need them to. No matter who's in there, we need to continue to distribute the ball to our play makers and more importantly, take care of the football."

Kickoff for the Clemson contest is 3:30 p.m. FSU is a 26-point underdog as of late Monday morning.

Taggart declined to get into specifics on how he'll rotate the two signal callers, stating that he wanted to keep a competitive advantage against Clemson. The Tigers enter the game ranking 10th or better in the FBS in: Yards Per Pass allowed (5.6), Opposing Completion Percentage (51.1), Passer Rating allowed (100.27) and Passing Yards allowed (150.4).

"We'll see on Saturday. I don't think that's something I want to give Dabo [Swinney] or anyone else what we're going to do," Taggart said. "It's going to be a tough challenge as it is. I don't want to give out anything other than they both will play. And again, we'll have a plan for them both. They go out and execute like they can execute, we'll be happy."

FSU did utilize two both quarterbacks earlier this season in a 35-24 win over Louisville. Hornibrook played the third series of the game and then was in for a two-minute drill to end the first half before replacing Blackman in the second half after the starter went down with a knee sprain.

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