Hurricanes gearing up for FSU QB Winston
JAMEIS WINSTON'S numbers are just ridiculous. A 70 percent completion rate. An average of 311 passing yards per game. Multiple touchdown throws in every outing this season.
That's how a redshirt freshman becomes a Heisman Trophy frontrunner.
That's also why the Florida State quarterback has Miami's full attention.
Seven teams have tried, all have failed, and now it's Miami's turn to figure out a way to solve the riddle of "Famous Jameis," who will lead No. 3 Florida State (7-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) against the seventh-ranked Hurricanes (7-0, 3-0) in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday. And the Hurricanes are making no secret of the fact that at least slowing Winston down is an absolute priority for them this weekend.
"He's beyond his years," said Miami coach Al Golden, whose eyes widened a bit yesterday when asked what impresses him about Winston's game. "He's talented. He's mature with the football. Strong arm, can move his feet, can create from a bad situation and I just think he's excellent. Regardless of his age or year in school, he's excellent. He's playing really well and they're executing at a high level."
Winston's debut was a 25-for-27 outing at Pittsburgh. He hasn't exactly cooled off much since opening night.
His 23 touchdown passes tie him for third-most in the nation. His touchdown percentage rate of 12.6 leads the nation. His yards per attempt, yards per completion and passer rating all rank No. 2 nationally. And if swagger could be measured, he might lead the nation in that, too - a clip of him telling teammates, "We ain't leavin' without a victory" before the blowout win at Clemson has been replayed countless times.
He backed those words up, too. Winston threw for 444 yards against a Tigers defense that was allowing 186.5 per game.
"He's a great player," Miami linebacker Jimmy Gaines said. "He can make all the throws, and you can really see he's a competitor. He's really a competitor, so I mean, it's going to be a great challenge for us as a defense just to go against him and play against him. I'm excited for it."
For obvious reasons, Miami quarterback Stephen Morris is studying Florida State's defense this week, not his contemporary on the other side of the ball. But even Morris is aware of the highlight-reel season Winston is putting together.
In fact, Morris even basically acknowledged that he's a bit of a Winston fan.
"I think he's doing an unbelievable job," Morris said. "Obviously, it's pretty hard for defenses to stop him. I know our defense is going to have a tough time. They're a great offensive team. Jameis has done a lot of great things. He's having an unbelievable season, I wish him all the best and I'm excited to see him play."
* No. 23 Michigan will be without tight end A.J. Williams against No. 24 Michigan State on Saturday.
Wolverines coach Brady Hoke announced the sophomore has been suspended for one game for an unspecified violation of team rules.
* The status of Tennessee junior quarterback Justin Worley is uncertain heading into Saturday's game at No. 10 Missouri.
Worley was injured and ineffective last week in a 45-10 loss to top-ranked Alabama. Tennessee coach Butch Jones said that Worley was day-to-day after hurting his right thumb against Alabama.