The temperature on the hot seat Willie Taggart occupies keeps rising, but he feels no heat.
The warnings from pundits and unhappy University of South Florida football fans that he needs to win six games to keep his job as head coach have not forced him to panic.
Taggart remains lively, animated and a preacher of hope.
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He took over a dysfunctional USF program in 2013, changed the culture and has had two standout recruiting classes.
But he is 6-18 at USF with an offense that has been ranked near the bottom of college football both seasons.
The best thing about Taggart is that he is not intimidated. That could be the game changer for him.
"I have never worried about losing my job," he says. "Pressure? There was pressure when I first got here. They want to win. There is always pressure, but you don't let it bother you."
Taggart will not allow outside voices to dictate his actions.
When he showed up as a scrawny kid at Manatee High in the early 1990s, then-head coach Joe Kinnan didn't know whether
to buy him a meal or give him a uniform.
The kid said he could do it, and with Taggart at quarterback the duo went to two straight title games and won a state championship.
Now they are united. Kinnan, the coach without a formal title but a wealth of knowledge, is helping put the offense back into the offense at USF.
Taggart turned it around at Western Kentucky and helped do it at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh.
It's different here. This is Florida, where it's best to tailor your coaching to the type of athletes you get.
For some reason, his predecessor, Skip Holtz, did not recruit Florida heavily, and when Taggart came in he had to change the personnel. They are good, but young, and take time to develop. Most of all, he is still searching for a quarterback.
He ran a smash-mouth offense his first two years and is switching to an up-tempo spread because he says it fits his team best.
The Bulls had a scrimmage Saturday, and like most of these, it's hard to judge.
If the defense dominates, is it because the offense is bad?
In USF's case, rooting for the offense is paramount if only because that unit has already bottomed out.
USF's best quarterback could be Asianti Woulard, but he is stuck in NCAA purgatory because of its archaic transfer rules and ineligible. He has appealed, but the former UCLA Bruin faces fourth and long.
The idea of pairing Woulard with Taggart is exciting, but it might take patience.
Did we say that's in short supply around the Fowler Avenue campus?
Quinton Flowers and Steven Bench are vying for that starting spot and neither has shown he is capable of carrying the team to a winning season.
In Saturday's scrimmage, the defense was credited with five turnovers and didn't allow a red-zone touchdown, which is reminiscent of USF's offensive problems last season.
Taggart said neither quarterback created any separation and lamented about things that were reminders of last year.
"We have to get to that point where we don't turn the ball over and we lead the offense down for scores," Taggart said. "We want touchdowns, we want scores. We want guys that can lead us down there, not turn the ball over and do it consistently."
Bench threw a 25-yard touchdown pass and hooked up with Tyree McCants for a 95-yard scoring strike, but was picked off twice. Flowers threw a pick and directed the offense that failed to score on a first and goal from the 3. Woulard threw a 36-yard touchdown strike to Chris Barr with no picks. If he is the future it looks bright.
The quarterbacks were whistled down if touched with two hands so that hindered all three who like to run. Taggart said he did not use a lot of his offensive packages.
He is not going to panic, but he knows the clock is ticking.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.