With the eyes of the nation upon him, Florida State Seminoles redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston set out on Monday night to show everyone that the hype that’s been surrounding him since his recruitment has been real.
He’s done exactly that–and then some.
After the Pittsburgh Panthers sent a jolt through the Seminole nation by driving down the field on the first drive and scoring, it was time for Winston to shine and that’s exactly what happened. And he hasn’t stopped since.
Jameis is an eye-popping 17-of-18 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those TDs were strikes to tight end Nick O’Leary and another to wide receiver Rashad Greene late in the first half. He’s also rushed the ball five times for 15 yards and another score.
In his debut, he’s accounted for all four Florida State touchdowns as they’ve rolled their way to a 28-10 halftime lead on the newcomers to the ACC.
Winston certainly doesn’t look like a quarterback that’s on the field for the first time in a big-time collegiate game. He’s continually stood tall in the pocket against the rush, made his reads down the field and displays the zip on the ball over the middle to fit it into the tight spaces he needs to.
The FSU defense got off to a very slow start, especially on that opening Pitt drive which resulted in a TD. Since then though, they’ve settled in quite nicely. The defensive backs are staying tighter on the receivers and the pass rush is starting to get the attention of Panthers QB Tom Savage.
At the end of the first half, DB Terrence Brooks intercepted a Savage pass over the middle, jumping a poorly thrown ball.