The Jameis Winston roadshow is only two games old, but Florida State have hardly seen mistakes from their freshman quarterback, as the comfortable schedule of the season’s start is the perfect stomping ground for him to show his talents at their absolute best.
Winston wasn’t explosive right off the bat, but like the team around him, he found a rhythm and couldn’t be stopped from the middle of the second quarter, as Florida State ran all over Nevada for a 62-7 win. Winston did throw an interception that was the basis for the only points the Seminoles gave up in the game, but he more than made up for it later on.
Winston was 15-of-18 for 214 yards and two touchdown throws, but he was also hard to stop on the ground, adding another touchdown to his impressive early collection. Winston has now completed 88.9% of his passes on his first two career starts, putting him on the top of the list for players making their debut since 2004, surpassing Sam Bradford and his 83.3% in 2007.
But Winston wasn’t the only one to put on a show, as the Seminoles ran for 377 yards and scored six touchdowns by six different players on the ground, with all four tailbacks getting a score. Karlos Williams, former safety turned running back after the season opener, was the best of them, running for 110 yards on only 8 carries, including going for 65 yards in the third quarter for the score.
I’m not trying to say that I was rubbing a crystal ball, but that guy is a talented cat. He’s very dynamic with the ball. He’s big, he’s strong and explosive. He’s natural. When he gets in space, he can hit home runs and he’s hard to tackle because he’s a big, physical guy there, too. Karlos will provide us a very big piece of the puzzle, in my opinion, as the year goes on.
Devonta Freeman, hoping to be a lot more involved than during his first two seasons on the team, also had a big day with 109 yards on 9 carries, but if defenses like the one Nevada brought to Tallahassee show up quite often against the Seminoles, Fisher will have no choice but to give everyone on the team an opportunity to run against them.
For now, the Seminoles’ running backs are enjoying Winston getting all of the attention. It might be hurting the Freshman’s passing numbers with teams loading up their secondary, but it allows for the running game to be at its most efficient.
A forgotten part of the game was Florida State’s defense, also getting one interception, but most importantly completely eliminating the Nevada offensive game. Their quarterbacks combined for only 13-of-24 and 86 yards, while the running game came up with only 128 yards on 38 carries, which is barely enough to put a dent in the Seminoles defense. It might not be as good as it was last season, but it’s enough on an offensive day like this.
With Bethune-Cookman, Boston College and Maryland coming up, it doesn’t seem like Winston is going to face an extremely difficult challenge to show us he’s not all that in the immediate future, which might make him a big unprepared for when he has to travel to Clemson.