Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/13/14
The Florida State Seminoles delivered a frightening, eye-opening message this past weekend which reverberated throughout the landscape nationally in college football. They thoroughly dismantled the 25th-ranked Maryland Terrapins 63-0 in Doak-Campbell Stadium, a domination so remarkable on both sides of the ball that it has many reconsidering the viability of the Noles as a legitimate national title contender. Coming in to the season, the discussion surrounding FSU’s season outlook largely concerned the unknown factor present with breaking in a new and inexperienced QB in redshirt freshman “Famous” Jameis Winston. Even though Winston came to Tallahassee highly touted and highly decorated out of high school, he has far surpassed even the best of expectations outsiders could have possibly had for him individually this season. He has displayed a remarkable poise and command of the offense for a freshman, showing observers intangibles present far exceeding the norm for a player of his classification. Also the defense has appeared to be vintage Noles, smothering opponents with their relentless attacking style of play. The Seminoles appear to be a year ahead of schedule, as Winston has extinguished any doubts concerning his ability to effectively guide FSU heading in to the year. Besides the aforementioned mental attributes and intangibles which Winston possesses at a level far beyond what many typically would associate with a freshman, he has exhibited his tremendous physical talent as well. Winston has displayed a powerful arm capable of delivering the football to any point on the field with zip, velocity, and touch. Defending him once he finds his rhythm can be a huge chore for opposing defenses, as evidenced by his performance in his very first collegiate start in Heinz Field against the Pitt Panthers. He throttled Pitt, carving up their secondary in a mesmerizing passing clinic which showed a national television audience his unique talent and intangibles. FSU is undisputedly a BCS title contender in the nation’s eyes at this point in the season. The anticipated dropoff at the quarterback position from the departed EJ Manuel to freshman Jameis Winston has failed to come to fruition; if anything, Winston has turned out to be a major upgrade from Manuel. Combine that with an extremely nasty and ferocious Noles defense, and you are left with a national title contender on both sides of the ball. No views yet
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