TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Saturday’s marquee matchup between No. 2 Florida State and No. 5 Notre Dame lived up to its hype, and so did the game’s marquee player: Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston.
"When you coach college football you dream of coaching in games against teams of that magnitude, that tradition, that history," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "And to go out there and just go toe-to-toe and have a slugfest and be able to play in a game like that, it was a true privilege to coach in that."
The Seminoles won the game 31-27, but they had to once again come from behind to make it happen.
After a slow start that saw Winston with just 92 passing yards in the first half, the redshirt sophomore came out of halftime scorching. Connecting on 15 of 16 second half passes, Winston led the Seminoles back from a seven-point halftime deficit.
"Perfection," Florida State running back Karlos Williams said of Winston’s second half. "He loves his university, he will do anything for his university. He came out there and changed the game …. He’s our leader, he’s my quarterback."
He finished the game 23 of 31 for 273 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But it was Winston’s ability to compartmentalize things and not allow off-the-field distractions affect his play.
"He’s a competitor," Fisher said. "He can compartmentalize and focus. He has a drive to win, a drive for greatness. Not because of him, but for his team. He really does."
Florida State is looking into allegations Winston received money in exchange for autographing memorabilia, as well as scheduling the Heisman winner for a hearing to determine whether he violated the school’s code of conduct in regards to a 2012 sexual assault allegation.