The Florida State Seminoles took an emphatic step forward in their quest to capture an ACC title this season with a dominant 63-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Maryland Terrapins on Saturday in Tallahassee.
Though it was a great team performance from Jimbo Fisher's squad, it was freshman quarterback Jameis Winston who shined the most. He made it known to the rest of the college football world that he's a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Going against a Maryland secondary that was only giving up 165.3 yards per game, Winston managed to throw for 393 yards and five touchdowns on 23-of-32 passing. While he made it look easy throughout most of the game, it was this scrambling touchdown that will be on his highlight reel for the rest of his career:
His performance was equal parts efficient and demoralizing for the Terps, and even though he's just a redshirt freshman, he already has draft pundits like Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com noticing his talent:
I know he has a lot of talent around him, but QB Jameis Winston is putting the ball exactly where it needs to be. Crazy he's just a RS frosh— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 5, 2013
This game wasn't all about Winston, though. The Florida State defense also came to play, as it shut down the Terps vaunted ground game and consistently gave the offense the ball with a short field.
Maryland averaged 227 yards a game rushing coming into this game. The Terps have 11 rush yards in the first half vs. #FSU.— Warchant.com (@Warchant) October 5, 2013
For Maryland, this was a game to forget. Not only did the Terps get blown out in a crucial conference game, but starting quarterback C.J. Brown was also knocked out of the game in the second quarter, per Natalie Pierre of the Tallahassee Democrat:
C.J. Brown has been taken away for X-rays. He will not return.— Natalie Pierre (@Natalie_Pierre) October 5, 2013
Brown was replaced by sophomore Caleb Rowe, and the game only got uglier for the Terps. Maryland was shut out and held to just 237 total yards on the day.
It was simply a dominant performance by Florida State. Here's a closer look at the most prominent players from this game.
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: A+
It just doesn't get much better than Winston's performance against the Terps. His consistent touch, decision-making skills and knack for extending plays came through time and time again as he stretched the Maryland defense all over the field.
If Winston has any doubters left out there, he certainly did everything he could to prove them wrong today.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State: B
Freeman's statline doesn't look that great. He ran for 63 yards on 17 carries for an average of just 3.7 yards per carry. But it's important to note he added 35 more yards receiving and wasn't heavily used in the second half.
This game was really about Winston on offense, but Freeman had a solid day that should remind fans that the Seminoles are a balanced team.
C.J. Brown, QB, Maryland: Incomplete
It's really unfortunate that Brown was injured early on in this game. The senior signal-caller had thrown seven touchdowns to just one interception before this game, and it would have been interesting to see what he could do against this Seminoles secondary throughout the course of the game.
That being said, he wouldn't have been able to lead Maryland to victory. He was just 6-of-14 for 82 yards before the injury and the Terps were already down 14-0.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland: C
The Terps needed a transcendent performance from their biggest playmaker to be competitive in this game and that just didn't happen. Diggs had five rushing yards and 24 receiving yards on two catches.
Obviously, some of his production is dependent on the quarterback, but this was a missed opportunity.
Florida State gets a bye week before taking on its biggest test of the season on the road against Clemson. Maryland will attempt to get back on track at home against the Virginia Cavaliers.