TALLAHASSEE - Jameis Winston showed no effects from a tumultuous week during No. 2 Florida State’s 59-3 win against Syracuse on Saturday. The redshirt quarterback completed 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles rolled during the Atlantic Coast Conference game.
News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. The attention of college football enthusiasts moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.
On the field, it was business as usual for the Seminoles (10-0, 8-0) on Saturday. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.
“I thought he played exceptionally well,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said about Winston. “His mind was really in the game.”
The Seminoles scored 28 first-quarter points before the Orange recorded 28 yards of total offense — and Winston was the star. The quarterback completed his first 11 attempts and looked completely comfortable.
Florida State was up 21-0 when Winston threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He lobbed a 6-yard touchdown pass to 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin to go up 35-0 with 11:52 left in the second quarter. Winston’s night ended at halftime and Florida State holding a 38-0 lead
Syracuse clearly made the decision to defend the deep ball and worry less about underneath routes. Winston took the easy, open throws and didn’t force the ball into tight spots.
The Florida State defense continued to dominate and showed why it’s the No. 4 scoring defense in the FBS. The unit allowed 68 yards on 30 plays in the first half while the Seminoles’ offense had 374 yards on 32 plays. The Orange managed just four first downs in the first half while punting five times.
Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt completed 10-of-18 passes for 75 yards. Backup Drew Allen entered the game in the third quarter and completed 5-of-9 passes for 29 yards with an interception.
Florida State hosts Idaho next week. Syracuse hosts Pitt.
Sean Maguire replaced Winston with second-stringer Jacob Coker out for the season after having knee surgery this week. The redshirt freshman was 3-of-5 for 21 yards with a touchdown and an interception.