Florida State's Jameis Winston Finally Looked Human vs. Bethune-Cookman
Ten of 19 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
For most people, that's a pretty standard game, a good one even. Fifty-two percent completion rate? No picks? Two touchdowns? What more could you ask for?
But when you're Jameis Winston, with your 7-1 Heisman odds, per Bovada, and awesome stat of having more touchdowns than incompletions, that's not a good night. It's a very average one, and you're aware of that.
"Everything was going our way today, [even though] I was making bad decisions out there," said the redshirt freshman. "I was just so unfocused and making a few bad decisions but the team as a whole did great."
Jameis gets asked about Greene dropping a touchdown, comes back with "well I overthrew Nick O'Leary in the end zone"— Perry Kostidakis (@perrykos) September 22, 2013
The maturity to acknowledge his shortcomings shows promise, but Saturday reminded those who forgot Winston was a first-year starter that he was in fact that. Many times instead of checking down to his open man, he would try to go for it all, forcing passes where they shouldn't have been forced.
Sometimes, it didn't work and showed what Winston has to improve on if he's aiming to lead the Seminoles to an upset at Clemson in three games.
But then again, sometimes it did, like when he made a spectacular athletic play on his first touchdown. Blitzed by two Cookman players, Winston avoided one, shed a tackle from another and then fired it in to Kelvin Benjamin for a score.
"He should have thrown the hot route," said head coach Jimbo Fisher of Winston's first touchdown. "Down on the goal line we'll allow him to hold it in short areas because you can give ground and lay it. But the guy he was going to do it with got tied up and he just made and outstanding athletic play. It was a tremendous play."
Jimbo acknowledges Jameis' tendency to get greedy, something @TomahawkNation has been preaching quite a bit— Perry Kostidakis (@perrykos) September 22, 2013
Fisher also acknowledged Winston's trend of getting greedy and going for the big play instead of the one that needs to be made, but that's something that can be fixed, something that needs to be fixed should this Florida State team have high hopes for this season—be it BCS bowl, Heisman or even national championship.
"You are looking at a future Heisman Trophy winner," said Bethune-Cookman's head coach Brian Jenkins. "I don't know if there is a better quarterback in the country right now - the only other kids I have seen playing better, or playing just as good, is (Teddy) Bridgewater. This kid - he's good."
But among Jenkins compliments held a bit of wisdom, one that Florida State's opponents will surely embody in these coming games.
"We didn't let the quarterback scare us. We knew he would make some plays with his arm. We felt that if we could get to him and disrupt his rhythm a little bit that we could cause a disruption in their offense and we did."
Does Jameis Winston's performance against Bethune concern you, and why?
Allowing disruptions to throw you off against Bethune-Cookman, a team that no matter how it plans will be overmatched, is fine. Not what you want, but fine.
The real test, however, will come in these next weeks, when FSU heads on the road to Boston College, when it plays a currently undefeated Maryland, and especially when it goes on the road to Clemson.
Standard won't be good enough. And Jameis Winston knows that.
The question is, can he fix it?
All quotes and paraphrases were obtained either firsthand or via phone unless otherwise noted. Postgame quotes from Seminoles.com.
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