CLEMSON – Thanks to a dominating four-touchdown, 444-yard performance on the road in a 51-14 win against No.3 Clemson, Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston staked his claim as a Heisman candidate front-runner.
Winston, the highly-touted 19-year-old true freshman quarterback, silenced the normally loud and vocal Death Valley Crowd in throwing three touchdowns, rushing for another and single-handily dissected the vaunted Tigers defense on national television in a performance for the ages.
If you were not sold on Famous Jameis as a Heisman candidate, allow yourself sometime to dissect these numbers in comparison to the last freshman to win the Heisman in Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M thru their first five games.
Manziel – Winston
2012 – Season – 2013
69.3% – Completion % – 73.2%
257.0 – Passing Yards/Game – 288.2
18 – Touchdowns – 19
Based on the stats above, an argument can easily be made for Winston and his chances of being the second frosh to be awarded the Heisman, while strength of schedule is also considered a factor, consider this, Winston whipped a ranked–yet mediocre–Big-Ten bound Maryland team and dominated a normally-stout Clemson team to the point that the normally orange-clad hamlet of Clemson, South Carolina could have easily been mistaken for North Tallahassee the way that Winston played and the constant playing of the Seminoles’ goose-bump inducing Tomahawk War Chant.
In addition to Winston’s eye-popping performance was the virtual disintegration of Clemson’s own quarterback, Tajh Boyd and his draft stock. That sound you heard last night was not that of the fierce Seminoles pass rush chasing Boyd, but the sound of his Heisman hopes dashing away into the night. Boyd, a fifth-year senior widely considered a proverbial first-round pick, looked more like an inexperienced freshman that Winston was supposed to be in completing 17-of-37 passes for 156 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
So, who was supposed to be the polished and savvy playmaker between Boyd and Winston? Clearly, it was not Boyd in this case.
While Boyd got no help from his wide receivers who dropped numerous balls, the combination of their ineptitude and the fore-mentioned Nole’s pass rush helped make it a long night for Boyd and the Tigers.
Many chose to dismiss Winston’s debut vs. Pitt as a fluke, as a simple case of playing against an over-matched and inferior opponent in the Panthers, after his Saturday’s display of utter brilliance and dominance against a decorated fifth-year upperclassman in Boyd on the road, is Winston’s Heisman Trophy candidacy now legit?
After last night, this writer is inclined to say yes.
#FamousJameis #FSUvsCLEM #Noles #SeminoleNation
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief of The Inscriber: Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected]://22.214.171.124/~theinscr and follow the Inscriber: Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber