TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Saturday’s game was billed as a return to the glory years of the Florida State-Miami rivalry, but in the end it was about the Seminoles’ future, and their chances to play for a national championship.
Miami held tough early, but by the time it was over, FSU dominated once again, winning 41-14, its second win over a top-10 team in three weeks. Here’s what we learned.
Winston isn’t perfect: Two deep balls down the middle, both picked off by safeties over the top. That’s what constitutes a bad game for Jameis Winston at this point, but his first-half turnovers did lead to all of Miami’s points and kept the Hurricanes’ upset hopes alive well into the third quarter. Of course, in spite of Winston’s early struggles, Florida State looked just fine -- never trailing in the game and putting things away rather quickly once the second half began. Oh, and Winston was nearly flawless in that second half, completing 12 of 14 passes.
Freeman loves Miami: It’s no secret that Devonta Freeman, a Miami native, likes sticking it to his hometown school. Last year, he came on in relief of an injured Chris Thompson and scored twice. This year, he picked up the offense after Winston’s rocky start and delivered 176 yards from scrimmage and three TDs. Winston also said it was an emotional pregame speech, delivered anonymously via video from Freeman, that inspired Florida State’s emotional play on the field Saturday. In three career games against Miami, all wins, Freeman has totaled 343 yards and five touchdowns.
FSU’s case is as good as any: The Seminoles now have two wins over top-10 teams in the last three weeks by a combined score of 92-28. While Oregon and Alabama may still end up ahead in the BCS polls, neither can say they’ve beaten two teams ranked so highly so badly. Unfortunately for FSU, Saturday’s big win over Miami was also likely its last shot to really impress the voters. Florida State’s remaining opponents are a combined 13-21, and while the Seminoles may get another shot at Miami in the ACC title game, odds are they’ll need the Ducks or Crimson Tide to lose a game in order to reach the national title game.