Monday, October 7, 2013
Player of the week: ACC
By David M. Hale
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Jameis Winston's start to the 2013 season is that it still seems so remarkable. The redshirt freshman entered the year with immense hype, and he delivered a debut for the ages. From there, the expectations have grown each week, and yet Winston somehow still manages to exceed them. His performance in a 63-0 win over Maryland on Saturday might have been his best yet.
The Terrapins came to Tallahassee ranked No. 25 in the nation, armed with a top-10 defense and the hope that this would be the year they'd finally unseat Florida State after 11 consecutive defeats at Doak Campbell Stadium. Winston quickly dashed those hopes and gashed that previously stout defense.
For the game, Winston completed 23-of-32 passes for a career-high 393 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. The fourth of those scores was a Houdini-like escape act in which Winston slipped through a sure tackle, emerged from the scrum, rolled out of the pocket and hit Nick O'Leary in the end zone.
"I actually held the ball too long," Winston said. Critiquing highlight-reel touchdowns has become the norm for a quarterback with little else in the way of flaws.
For the season, Winston is completing 73 percent of his throws, and he has accounted for 19 touchdowns in five games. In each of his three games vs. ACC opponents he has topped 300 yards and thrown at least four touchdown passes. That's a feat that his predecessor, EJ Manuel, did just once in his career.