Florida State Football

Despite Allegations, FSU's Jameis Winston Still Playing Like Heisman Frontrunner

Nov 23, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) signs autographs for fans after the game against the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Perry KostidakisContributor INovember 24, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, FL-In terms of football, Saturday could not have had a better day for Jameis Winston.  Although he didn't look his best, he still had 225 yards and four touchdowns.  As well, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Bryce Petty were having off days too.

It became apparent, despite any allegations, Winston has solidified himself as the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. 

 

It was surprising to see how well he could still perform with every bit of off-field distractions doing their best to throw him off, but as he asserted, the football field is the one place where they can't reach him. 

"The football field is a sanctuary to me," Winston said. "And it's like that for all of our teammates. When all of us are on the field everything is just zoned out. We focus."

Nov 23, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) congratulates teammates after the game against the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Winston connected with Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin for two touchdowns apiece, the former coming out huge on his final home game. It was against an overmatched Idaho team, but the Vandals are still an FBS opponent. 

"Thought he played well," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I thought early he had a couple reads he could have pulled the trigger a little quicker, but we had some protection issues a couple times there. But, I thought he played a solid game."

Winston will face off against a fastly deteriorating Florida team next week, and then against either Duke or Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. He has two more games to further establish himself as the favorite and, if he is innocent and cleared of charges before the Florida game, that will be two more chances to put the off-field issues behind him. 

Winston said he has a chance at the Heisman because of "the team."

"My team has been playing so phenomenal this season. We just want to continue that performance. Ultimately we have to get better. We want to get better every single day. I have to get better on certain aspects. We gotta keep it going," Winston said.

It's clear that there isn't a clear-cut competitor to Winston's first place spot, with the favorites failing to establish themselves on Saturday. A.J. McCarron may be Winston's only challenger, though it's hard to imagine voters bucking the trend and giving a typical pocket passer the nod over a dual-threat gunslinger. 

As the season wraps up, everything should start to sort out, and if Winston keeps playing how he has been playing, he and the team will have no problem keeping up these performances.

 

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