TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jameis Winston and an overpowering running game delivered Florida State’s biggest offensive performance in school history.
Even in the national championship seasons, the dominating teams that finished in the top five every season from 1987-2000. Or under the guidance of Heisman Trophy winners such as Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke.
Never had they put up a number quite like this:
Florida State 80, Idaho 14.
And the Seminoles did it in the air (309 yards), on the ground (336 yards) and with a pair of defensive touchdowns.
Winston had four touchdown passes, running back Karlos Williams had two touchdowns and both Telvin Smith and E.J. Levenberry had interception returns for scores as Florida State routed Idaho on Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium.
“Honestly, I want to see how it feels to get 100 points,” said receiver Kenny Shaw, who had two touchdown catches.
He was joking, of course.
No. 2 Florida State (11-0) broke the school record of 77 points, which was set in 1995 in a 77-17 win over NC State.
Florida State also surpassed the 40-point mark for the 11th straight game, extending another school record. And the 2013 team has the record for most points in a season, with 607 points — and three games to go.
“I’m not disappointed at all, but I don’t think we played our best,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said.
While it’s the most points that a Fisher-led team has ever scored, he did say that his Salem (W.Va.) team scored 82 points against Samford when he was a quarterback in the mid-1980s.
Quipped Winston: “I guess we have to step our game up a little bit.”
It’s hard to imagine Florida State playing much better this season. The Seminoles enjoyed a perfect run at home (7-0) for the first time since 2000.
On Saturday, Idaho (1-10) earned a $950,000 payday — and took plenty of lumps.
Just about everyone had a big play or touchdown, helping the seniors enjoy their final home game. Kelvin Benjamin had two touchdown receptions, Shaw had 107 receiving yards and two touchdowns and Devonta Freeman had a rushing touchdown for the seventh straight game.
Winston again was composed from the start. While he’s being investigated on an allegation of sexual assault from December 2012 that surfaced publicly Nov. 13, Winston took the field with the offense to cheers from an announced crowd of 65,000.
He led Florida State to touchdowns on six of his eight drives, leaving the game early in the third quarter after a throwing 21-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin that put Florida State ahead 49-7. Winston completed 14 of 25 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns.
Winston’s four TDs on Saturday gave him 32 for the season. That tied him for second on the single-season TD list with Danny Kanell (1995) and put him one away from Chris Weinke (33 in 2000).
It was the third straight game that Winston and the first-team offense were able to relax for most, or all of, the second half. And while Winston is a contender for the Heisman Trophy, Fisher said it wouldn’t be right to leave him in to pad his stats against Idaho.
“People know he played well,” Fisher said. “He played exceptionally well and he’s on a great team. To me, stats aren’t the key for awards. It’s how well you play, how you dominate your opponent and what you do.”
The game was another blowout, but it was a special finale for the 24 seniors. Florida State’s underclassmen wanted to give the seniors a memorable finish at Doak, and they can say they set a school record in their final home game.
“We know where this program has come from,” said Smith, a linebacker who returned an interception 79 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. “We’ve grown with the program, with the coaches. We know how to go about things. When I first got here, Coach Fisher said we didn’t know how to win. We learned how to win.”
Next up: Florida State travels to Florida (4-7) on Saturday at noon. The Gators have lost six straight games after falling at home to Georgia Southern 26-20 on Saturday.
“They could lose every game,” Smith said. “But when they play us they are probably going to play their best game.”