Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston threw four TDs — two to Albany native Rashad Greene — and ran for a team-high 67 yards in Saturday’s win against Boston College to keep the eighth-ranked Seminoles undefeated. (Reuters)
BOSTON — No E.J. Manuel? No problem for eighth-ranked Florida State.
With Manuel, who followed former Seminole Christian Ponder into the NFL, now running the Buffalo Bills’ offense, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston is the Florida State quarterback.
So far, so good.
“He’s not playing like a redshirt freshman,” wide receiver Kenny Shaw said after Winston threw four touchdown passes, one a 55-yarder to Shaw as time expired in first half, to rally FSU to a 48-34 ACC victory over Boston College on Saturday.
“It’s amazing playing with a guy like that,” Shaw said. “He’s looking for us to keep the team upbeat because we’re the older guys, the wideouts, with more experience, but then again he’s playing real good.”
Winston threw for 330 yards and ran for 74 more in outdueling counterpart Chase Rettig as Florida State overcame a 17-3 second-quarter deficit and moved to 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the ACC.
The bomb to Shaw completely turned the game around. FSU had already rallied to tie 17-17 with 1:49 left in the first half. Winston, sacked on first down, followed a 13-yard run by Devonta Freeman with the big play. He eluded another sack and fired down the right sideline. For some reason, in what should have been a situation where BC had its goal line protected, Shaw was 1-on-1 with safety Spencer Rositano and made a great catch. The Seminoles went ahead to stay.
“I knew he could get it down there,” Shaw said. “He can throw on his knees, probably, to the end zone.”
“I just wanted to score a touchdown before the half and Kenny made a great play,” said Winston, who was 17-for-27 with an interception and is 50-for-64 for 1,048 yards, 12 TDs and two picks in four games. “He’s an outstanding target that I’ve got, and he made an outstanding play.”
Winston, who also threw TD passes of 56 and 10 yards to Albany native Rashad Greene, was critical of himself for mistakes, saying he has a lot of work to do to get better.
Coach Jimbo Fisher feels that way about his team, calling his ‘Noles “a work in progress.” FSU has had trouble with slow starts and this was another one.
As far as his quarterback goes, Fisher said, “I’m going to say this now: I’m glad he’s on my team.”
The Seminoles also got a fourth-quarter 20-yard interception return for a score by P.J. Williams and have outscored their four opponents 205-60. But BC scored more than the first three foes combined.
“You come out of that game and you don’t feel good at all, because it’s all about winning,” said first-year BC coach Steve Addazio, who called the last-second first-half play “devastating.” “But you feel like you have the foundation in place of a team that’s tough and going to come in and battle.