Jameis Winston and the Florida State offense didn't come out firing on all cylinders at the beginning of Saturday's game against Nevada, but by the time they got there the Seminole offense was a sight to behold.
The Seminoles averaged 9.79 yards and .98 points per offensive snap agaisnt the Wolf Pack. They finished with 62 points and 617 yards on 63 plays. And that's all made even more impressive when you consider the fact that FSU trailed 7-3 with just five minutes remaining in the second quarter and had just one possession - a field goal - in the first quarter.
Then the Seminoles proceeded to score on drives of 92, 56, 66, 65, 61, 45, 62, 69 and 64 yards. The longest drive took 4:42, the shortest was Karlos Williams first run clocking in at just :08. FSU lost the time of possession battle by a full six minutes and still outgained their opponent by 400 yards.
Those numbers are absolutely absurd. And considering FSU had 41 points and 533 yards on 63 plays on the road two weeks ago, they also may not be an aberration.
After a field goal on a first drive that felt like more of a misfire than a success, FSU tossed a pick and took a sack to force a punt on their next two possessions. Then they exploded to score on their next nine straight drives and put up 59 unanswered points.
"Yes this has been [the best the offense has run since I've been here]," said junior WR Rashad Greene. "The offense started clicking and going a little faster than we have in the past years and I like it."
"Since I've been here, it has [run the best I've seen it this year]," said senior WR Kenny Shaw. "It's more fast, it's more uptempo and then the key is to get the calls and get lined up, that's the key to it.
"That just comes from repping it hard in practices, everything."
This could mean that finally Jimbo Fisher has the right group of experienced players at the right positions to run the offense he's always wanted to. Or it could mean that two games into the Jameis Winston era he's already got a better command of Fisher's system than his predecessor.
Now, the receivers weren't willing to compare the two QB's, "EJ is EJ, Jameis is Jameis," said Shaw. But given the way Florida State's offense has looked early on it's hard to argue that Winston isn't running the offense about as well as Fisher could hope for.
“He has a great touch and he always knows where the defenders are," said Greene. "And he’s able to throw back-shoulder, just perfect balls, he throws them and I pretty much just have to put my hands up.”
There are still plenty of things for Winston to improve on, for instance he made a pick on a bad throw in the 2nd quarter of today's game, but once the offense started to get into its rhythm it was literally unstoppable (in that the only time FSU didn't score after their third possession was when the clock ended the game in the 4th quarter).
And after the pick he threw, Winston was statistically perfect going 13-for-13 and tossing two long touchdowns to Shaw and Greene.
"He grew from it, he knew what he did, we explained it to him," said Fisher. "[Jameis] was fine then, took the sack the next drive- didn’t panic and came back the next two drives and got us going. What I liked about it was he made a mistake and he didn’t get gun shy, he went right back into it and started making throws and making plays.”
Jameis Winston now has one more touchdown pass than incompletion on his young career. He is 40/45 for 6 TD's and 570 passing yards. He's also run for two scores. Based on his postgame interview, I doubt he's satisfied though.
"We gotta keep on, we've gotta ball," said Winston. "We've got to keep grinding."
This is a long season and eventually someone is going to scheme to stop Florida State's offense. But so far, Florida State fans have very little to complain about on that side of the ball.
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