Florida State Seminoles: ESPN Stats & Info

Winston makes the difference for FSU

November, 4, 2014
Nov 4
1:41
AM ET
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesJameis Winston displayed his come-from-behind ability in a victory at Louisville on Thursday.
Florida State is not dominating teams as it did last season. The Seminoles are undefeated but have trailed at halftime in four of eight games, and their average win probability at halftime (58%) ranks 50th in FBS.

But the 2014 Seminoles don’t have to compete with the 2013 Seminoles to make the first College Football Playoff. They only have to be judged one of the four best teams by the selection committee. And regardless of their diminished dominance compared with last season, they have something no other team has: the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Playing from behind
This season, the Seminoles have run almost twice as many plays while trailing (184) than they did all of last season (93). More than half of those plays (55) from last season were in the BCS Championship game against Auburn.

Florida State ranks 28th in Game Control, which accounts for average in-game win probability and adjusts for opponents faced. Last season, Florida State led the nation in Game Control, and since 2005, only one team entered bowls undefeated (Hawaii 2007) with a Game Control outside the top 20.

Here’s where Jameis Winston comes in. He is 21-0 as a starter. His career Total QBR (86.8) is the fourth-best mark for a player with at least 10 starts in the QBR era (since 2004) behind Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel.

Winston has played his best when his team has needed him the most. He has led four second-half comebacks in his career, including a game-winning drive in the BCS Championship game.

In the Seminoles’ 42-31 win last week at Louisville, Winston helped rally his team from a 17-point deficit with 11:22 left in the third quarter. From that point on, he completed 15-of-25 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He did this against a team that entered the game allowing the lowest Total QBR in the nation and that had given up a total of three passing touchdowns in the previous six games.

In the postgame news conference, Winston said, “Being down is nothing when you’ve got heart and you persevere. Personally, we play better when we’re down, honestly.”

Numbers back him up
That appears to be true for Winston. He ranks among the top 10 in FBS in Total QBR (81.4), completion percentage (68.3%) and yards per attempt (9.7) when his team is trailing.

He has been better when trailing in the second half. In that situation, he leads the FBS in yards per attempt (10.5) and third-down conversion percentage (75%) and ranks fourth in Total QBR (90.3).

His best performance might have come against Notre Dame on Oct. 18. He completed 15-of-16 second-half passes (all when trailing), including all eight of his passes thrown 10 yards or longer.
Third-down efficiency has separated Winston from the pack. He has converted a first down on 54% of his third-down passing plays in his career, on pace to be the best for any FBS quarterback in the last 10 seasons (min. 10 games started).

There is a first half/second-half divide with his third downs, too. Look no further than last week against Louisville, when Winston completed 2-of-5 third-down passes in the first half for 19 yards and an interception. In the second half he was 5-of-6 for 169 yards and three touchdowns.>Not surprisingly, Winston leads the FBS in third-down Total QBR in the second half.

The Seminoles might not be winning every week by 40 points like last season, but they are 8-0. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Seminoles have a 34% chance of winning the rest of their games, including the ACC Championship game. An undefeated Power 5 team that is the reigning national champion and has a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback sounds a lot like a playoff team.

Winston's hot start has FSU among elite

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
10:39
PM ET
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesJameis Winston had five passing touchdowns against Maryland.
Jameis Winston has Florida State on its way possibly to its best season of the 21st century.

The redshirt freshman has been quite impressive in his first five games as the Seminoles' starting quarterback.

Winston had five passing touchdowns against Maryland, the most by a Florida State quarterback since Christian Ponder had five in 2009 against Georgia Tech.

Winston now has 17 passing touchdowns, the most by anyone in a player's first five career games over the past 10 seasons.

Winston joins Boise State’s Kellen Moore as the only FBS players over the past 10 seasons with a QBR of at least 75 in each of their first five career games.

In three ACC games, Winston has a 93.6 Total QBR, has completed 76 percent of his passes, and is averaging 360 passing yards per game with 13 passing touchdowns and one interception.

Heisman hopeful
How does Winston compare to past Heisman winners in their first five games of the season? He has more touchdowns responsible for (passing and rushing touchdowns) than Johnny Manziel (2012) and Cam Newton (2010). And he has fewer turnovers (two) than any of the past three Heisman winners –- Manziel, Robert Griffin III (2011) and Newton.

The rout was on
Winston’s superb play led the Seminoles to a dominant victory over No. 25 Maryland 63-0.

Florida State's 63-0 win over Maryland is tied for the largest margin of victory over a ranked team since the AP Poll began in 1936. In 1997, UCLA beat No. 11 Texas, 66-3.

It’s the largest margin of victory by any team in an ACC conference game.

It’s also the largest shutout win ever by Florida State over a ranked team.

The 5-0 Seminoles are idle next week before clashing with undefeated No. 3 Clemson on Oct. 19 at Death Valley.

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