Every game it seems like Florida State find a way to complicate things before making a huge comeback. Jameis Winston was terrible and still the Seminoles beat Florida 24-19, remaining undefeated and staying on course to make the College Football playoff, even though they don’t deserve it.
Jameis Winston threw four interceptions in the narrow win for the Seminoles, carrying on with their dominance against, well, everyone. Maybe dominance is a strong word, as the Seminoles, the defending national champions and now headed into their third consecutive conference championship game, have been struggling to put away teams last season they decimated with ease. Against the 6-5 Gators, they were trailing 9-0 and needing a late field goal by Roberto Aguayo once again to clinch the contest.
Not that Florida didn’t have their chances of turning things around again, but there’s only so much you can ask from a team that has no clue on how to generate offense, a head coach that coached his last game for the school and generally a feeling of burning the stables and beginning something completely new. Treon Harris threw two interceptions, one of them going for a touchdown and another ending any chance for his team to win the game.
So how did Florida State actually win? Things began going their way after Terrance Smith returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown. The moment the offense got a little bit of momentum and traction, Florida had no way of responding. Their offense isn’t built to win games. It’s simply in place to maybe not lose them while the defense does most of the job. While the Seminoles are no where near the team they were last season, they’re still good enough to beat whatever it is that Muschamp has built.
In the second quarter Winston found Nick O’Leary for two touchdown passes, and that was about it from the 2013 Heisman winner. A season that’s been more about off the field problems for him defined him on it in another way: He’s either incredibly awful and destructive to his team, usually early in the game, or he has phases in which he looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the school and maybe the sport. So far, the moments of positives from him have been enough to carry this team through a very weird season.
Maybe that’s the secret of Winston. His memory is short. All great stars in any sport don’t remember what happened a play before. They make a mistake? They simply move on and try to do their best on the next one. It usually works out quite well for Winston, who is probably going to turn pro after this season. It might happen with him responsible for back-to-back undefeated seasons. So far it’s just the regular season that went without a glitch, but there are at least two more games for the Seminoles to show how special this two-year period is.
As for Florida, this was a sad swan song for a man who had one moment of brief success with this team, but overall only took it back even further. Being a defensive specialist didn’t help in a changing conference that requires more than handing off the ball to running backs and hoping your quarterback doesn’t make mistakes. Will Muschamp won’t be remembered too fondly by Florida fans, and he didn’t seem like someone who has the ability to slightly even change that impression on his last trip to the team’s sidelines.