- David M. Hale, College football
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Saturday's game against Maryland was supposed to be a litmus test of just how good Florida State was. Instead, it was yet another blowout, where the starters were resting comfortably on the sideline by the fourth quarter. These were the top performances:
QB Jameis Winston: The fact that Winston was exceptional once again is becoming less newsworthy by the week. He now has played in three ACC games and has topped 300 yards and four touchdowns in each of them. His predecessor, EJ Manuel, did that just once in his career against an ACC team. And, as usual, Winston provided plenty of highlights, including shrugging off a sack with Houdini-like escape skills, rolling out and delivering a touchdown throw to Nick O'Leary. For the season, Winston has accounted for 19 touchdowns in five games.
RB Devonta Freeman: It remains a three-headed attack at tailback for Florida State, but there's no question who the top dog is at this point. Freeman turned in another stellar performance, rushing for 63 yards on 17 carries while adding another 35 yards on three receptions. There weren't always wide lanes Saturday, but Freeman showed some spectacular moves to find yards anyway. And for what it's worth, Freeman is currently on pace for 1,001 rushing yards, assuming FSU plays 13 games.
The defensive line: The difference between Florida State's defensive effort against Boston College a week ago and Maryland on Saturday couldn't have been more stark. BC racked up 200 yards on the ground and took advantage of FSU defenders being out of position routinely. Against Maryland, the Seminoles were clicking on all cylinders, and it started with the big guys up front. Timmy Jernigan delivered the motivational speech before the game, and the unit responded, holding the Terps to just 33 yards rushing while consistently pressuring the QB.
Hat tips to: Kenny Shaw had another solid game but couldn't quite get to 100 yards again. Karlos Williams now has six TDs on 28 rushes. Roberto Aguayo still hasn't missed a kick (7-of-7 on field goals, 35-of-35 on PATs).
Saturday's game against Maryland was supposed to be a litmus test of just how good Florida State was. Instead, it was yet another blowout, where the starters were resting comfortably on the sideline by the fourth quarter.