Jameis Winston wrote another chapter of his early legend at Clemson, throwing for 444 yards and three touchdowns and outplaying Heisman candidate and fifth-year senior Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd .
Even his one mistake wasn't his fault, according to FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.
Winston's one early stumble was a badly thrown interception early in the second quarter, and Fisher said that throw was the result of a busted headset. The call from the sideline was for a double-move play from the receivers, but quarterback coach Randy Sander's headset went out midway through the call.
Sanders only heard the first move of the play, and relayed the incorrect call to Winston. Winston threw the single move while the receivers all ran a double move, resulting in the interception.
Fisher, understandably, was irate about the mis-communication.
"We had to throw the headset away and get a new headset," Fisher said. "That's why I hate these wireless headsets."
And while the mistake didn't ultimately affect the outcome of the game, further problems with wireless technology left Fisher frustrated. During FSU's season opener at Pittsburgh, Fisher also mentioned problems with the wireless head sets, saying multiple sets went out during that game as well.
"We need to get some wires back in here," Fisher joked. "That could cost a ballgame. It cost us a huge turnover in the game."
Erving shuts down Beasley
Heading in to Saturday's game, much of the focus was on Clemson's sack-happy defense and its ability to potentially pressure Jameis Winston[db]. The Tigers led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss.
That is, the Tigers did lead in those categories before playing FSU. The Seminoles' offensive line, in large part, prevented Clemson from generating significant pressure on Winston. Clemson did have three sacks and six tackles for loss, but were unable to get Florida State's offense off the field. On third down Clemson allowed Florida State to convert eight of 12 chances and Florida State punted just twice times. And against Clemson's blitz, FSU was
"We do a lot of things with protection," Fisher said. "But our guys pick them up. They're able to see them and Jameis is able to manage them and know where to go with the ball."
The most pressure coming in was on left tackle [db]Cameron Erving , matched up against the nation's sack leader in defensive end Vic Beasley. But on the final stats, Beasley was nowhere to be found. He registered a paltry two tackles and didn't have a quarterback hurry, sack or tackle for loss.
"Tremendous," Fisher said. "Any quarterback in America when they get hit a few times it affects them. They allowed him to get his feet set and get his confidence."
Erving's draft stock is already high; He's ranked the No. 2 OT prospect in the 2014 NFL class by CBSsports.com and the No. 3 tackle by NFLdraftscout.com. It's likely that he did plenty to up his potential payday on Saturday.
"They didn't blitz a lot on film and we saw that," Winston said. "And we were ready to protect and spread the ball around.
Rashad Greene with another big night
Rashad Greene has a history of making big plays at Clemson, and he delivered again on Saturday.
Clemson spent much of the game leaving Greene in single coverage, and he made them pay to the tune of eight catches for a season-high 146 yards and two touchdowns.
"I didn't expect that," Green said of the Tigers' defensive approach, "But that's a gift. I always take single coverage any day."
Greene also showcased his speed in Saturday's game. With FSU backed up against its own end zone with a drive starting at its own five-yard line, Greene turned a short curl route into a 71-yard touchdown run, outsprinting much of the Clemson secondary in the process.
That play made the score 24-7 and further deflated an already bruised Clemson defense which thought it had FSU pinned deep.
"Did you see Rashad Greene take that pass and turn and beat that guy?" Winston said. "There wasn't anybody that was gonna catch him."
Tight End Nick O'Leary continues to climb up the tight end record books for FSU. He led the Seminoles with 161 receiving yards on four catches, a career high for him. FSU records are spotty for tight ends, but it's likely that O'Leary is on pace for the best season by a tight end in school history.
Greene's streak of consecutive games with a reception is now 21.
FSU's defensive touchdown on Saturday was it's third of the season. The Seminoles already have the most defensive touchdowns since 2009. The five total turnovers against Clemson was a season-high for the Tigers, and also the first points off turnovers that Clemson has given up this season.
This was the most lopsided victory by FSU against a top five ACC team. The Seminoles' most lopsided win ever against a top five opponent came in 1964 against Kentucky in a 48-6 victory. In 1984 FSU recorded a 35-point win against a top 5 Miami squad.
Winston's 242 first-half passing yards were a season best for him. He's got four games of 200+yards passing in the first half this season, and all four have come against ACC foes.
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