Winston, No. 2 Florida State cruise to 59-3 win over Syracuse - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Winston, No. 2 Florida State cruise to 59-3 win over Syracuse

Posted: Updated:
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) escapes a sack attempt by Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill (11) in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears) Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) escapes a sack attempt by Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill (11) in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — On the field, it was business as usual for Jameis Winston and No. 2 Florida State.

The Heisman Trophy candidate showed no effects from a tumultuous week, completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles rolled Syracuse 59-3 on Saturday.

News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. Attention moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.

Any questions about whether the off-field issue would impact Florida State's game were answered immediately. Florida State (10-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 28-0 in the first quarter. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.

"It's the same thing every single week," Winston said. "We prepare ourselves the same way every single week. One thing about Florida State, we're a big family. So we stay inside the family.

"We've got the same plan every week. We want to be elite. We want to be great. And just like we had the 1993 championship team come down. We want to be just like those guys. We want to just keep everything rolling the right way."

The Seminoles are second in the BCS standings and are likely three victories away — they play Idaho, Florida and the ACC championship game in the next three weeks — from locking up a spot in the BCS championship game.

It seems only a problem with Winston can get in Florida State's way. If he were to be changed with a felony, school rules would require he not be allowed to play.

With him, and considering the upcoming competition, the Seminoles have been unstoppable.

The Seminoles scored 28 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. Winston controlled the game with his arm, but also sprinted nearly 40 yards downfield to throw the final block that sprung Kermit Whitfield on a 74-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

"I thought he played exceptionally well," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said about Winston. "His mind was really in the game."

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.

Syracuse cornerback Julian Whigham was injured on the play, taken off the field on a stretcher and immediately loaded into an ambulance late in the first quarter. He was taken to the hospital.

Orange coach Scott Shafer said Whigham was OK in the hospital with an abdominal injury and would remain overnight. Syracuse also lost running back Prince-Tyson Gulley to a lower-body injury and receiver Jarrod West left with an upper-body injury.

Winston 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 game 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.

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.

The Florida State defense did 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.

"Just coming out and throwing the first punch, we were trying to create a dominant kind of chemistry among the defense," Florida State nose guard Timmy Jernigan said. "Just coming out and being dominant and being the most physical team."

The Orange managed just four first downs in the first half while punting five times.

"This is horrible," Shafer said. "I hate it. We won't sleep for a couple of nights. I know I won't. You hate losing. God, I hate losing but you bounce back and figure out how to teach the kids because that's what we are. We're teachers."

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.

"They're a great team," Hunt said. "We lost to a better team, basically. It would be more of a bruised ego if we lost to a team that we're better than. But we lost to a better team - you accept it, you move on. We have two more games and we want to go 2-0."

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • ABI investigate shooting

    ABI investigate shooting

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:11:58 GMT
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
  • Fairfield police: burned body dumped at house, crime committed elsewhere

    Fairfield police: burned body dumped at house, crime committed elsewhere

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:02:53 GMT
    The burned body found in a the backyard of a Fairfield house has not been identified. But police say it was a woman. They also believe there is another crime scene.More >>
    The burned body found in a the backyard of a Fairfield house has not been identified. But police say it was a woman. They also believe there is another crime scene.More >>
  • Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:57:02 GMT
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
  • Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:56:20 GMT
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old Brian Mitchell of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday. Police say Mitchell is behind a message posted on social media site, Yik Yak,More >>
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old from of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday.More >>
  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:35 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:13 GMT
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
  • Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:20 GMT
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
  • Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:52:58 GMT
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>