- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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If nothing else, Saturday's 48-34 win over Boston College proved to be a good test of just where Florida State is and how much still needs to be done before the Seminoles take on undefeated Maryland next week. Here's what we learned in Week 5.
Jameis Winston is a miracle worker: There might come a time when Winston has a truly bad game. There might be an obstacle he can't overcome, a contest when mistakes around him put him in a hole he can't climb out of. But Winston sure hasn't shown any signs that will happen just yet. Four minutes into the second quarter, FSU was in a 17-3 hole, and then Winston took over. The FSU QB finished 17-of-27 for 330 yards and four touchdowns, and his 55-yard Hail Mary throw to Kenny Shaw as time expired in the first half drove the biggest dagger of the night through Boston College's heart. Winston was no one-trick pony either. Subtract sacks, and Winston had 10 rushes for 96 yards, both career highs. Through four weeks, Winston has accounted for 14 touchdowns. EJ Manuel didn't reach that mark in 2012 until the eighth game of the season.
The defense has some major holes: Let's start with the positives. With Tyler Hunter out, the new-look secondary looked decent enough. Jalen Ramsey looked good once again in his first start at safety, and P.J. Williams and Nate Andrews each recorded interceptions. Lamarcus Joyner made a handful of big tackles after the front seven had let a ball carrier get deep into the secondary. But that only underscores the bad news. The defensive front struggled mightily. FSU knew Boston College planned to run early and often, and still, it had few answers for Andre Williams, who tallied 149 yards -- the most by a single rusher vs. the Seminoles since 2010. Overall, BC racked up 397 yards of offense, averaging 5.4 yards per play. FSU did record three sacks, but Chase Rettig was also able to escape pressure a number of times. Most troubling, the D opened the game completely flat once again, with BC jumping out to a 17-3 lead.
The special teams could use some work, too: Through the first three games, FSU had won so easily, there was little focus on the special teams. Kicker Roberto Aguayo still hasn't missed a kick, but the rest of the special teams looked bad on Saturday. FSU had surrendered just one punt return all season entering the game but coughed up two long returns to Spiffy Evans. Myles Willis added 114 yards on kick returns, including a 71-yarder. Cason Beatty's first punt was a disaster. BC's average starting field position was its own 34, and it began just two drives inside its own 20.
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