- David M. Hale, College football
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A battle of two ranked, undefeated ACC teams was supposed to teach us a lot about both Florida State and Maryland. Instead, it was clear by halftime that the Terps were in over their heads, and Florida State was clicking on all cylinders. Here's what else we learned from Saturday's 63-0 win.
Jameis Winston is a magician: His teammates have taken to downplaying Winston's tremendous start to the season. They see so many highlights in practice, Rashad Greene said, that it's second nature on game day. And then Winston goes and ducks through a surefire sack, rolls out to his right and delivers a TD throw to Nick O'Leary, and even Greene has to admit -- it's amazing. "You don't see him break tackles in practice," Greene said, "so when you see it in a game, it's just a great feeling seeing how athletic that guy is." Winston now has accounted for 19 touchdowns this season, the most by any QB in his first five games in the past decade.
The defense isn't dead: Players were angry after last week's ugly performance against Boston College, Jacobbi McDaniel said. They knew there were doubters, and they aimed to quiet those concerns. It started with an intense week of practice and it ended with a shutout in which the D dominated every facet of the game. The D line -- McDaniel, Jernigan and Mario Edwards Jr. -- played its best game of the season, and the rest of the pieces fell into place from there. One week after coughing up 200 yards on the ground, FSU allowed Maryland just 33 yards on 25 carries.
Two weeks will feel like a lifetime: The company line after Saturday's blowout win was patience. The next big date circled on the calendar, Jimbo Fisher said, wasn't Clemson, but rather Tuesday's return to the practice field. That's the right mantra inside the locker room, but for ACC fans, it's going to be a long wait until Oct. 19 when FSU and Clemson face off in Death Valley. The Noles rolled Maryland, and the Tigers thumped Syracuse. Now only a BC-Clemson matchup and a bye week in Tallahassee is in the way of a showdown between two top-10 teams that figures to determine who'll take the ACC Atlantic.
A battle of two ranked, undefeated ACC teams was supposed to teach us a lot about both Florida State and Maryland. Instead, it was clear by halftime that the Terps were in over their heads, and Florida State was clicking on all cylinders.