Florida State at Clemson

Winston, No. 5 Florida St. crush No. 3 Clemson in Death Valley

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Jameis Winston and Florida State hushed Death Valley, making a statement that that could be heard from Alabama to Oregon.

The Seminoles' remarkable redshirt freshman threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns and No. 5 Florida State crushed No. 3 Clemson 51-14 Saturday night. When the first BCS standings of the season come out Sunday, Florida State should be right there with the top-ranked Crimson Tide and second-ranked Ducks, fighting for the top spots.

"Do we deserve to be in the top two? We deserve to be No. 1," Florida State linebacker Telvin Smith said.

The Atlantic Coast Conference's game of the year, billed as maybe the league's biggest game ever, quickly became a Seminoles' seminar on how to take apart a top-five opponent on its hostile home turf in front of 83,428.

"We don't play against noise. We're playing against the Clemson Tigers," Winston said. "It was amazing, when we were out on the field that first snap. It was loud and we started smiling because we don't play against noise."

The game started with two Heisman Trophy contender quarterbacks. It ended with one.

Playing in one of the loudest stadiums in the country, Winston was unfazed, going 22 for 34 for Florida State (6-0, 4-0). His first throw was a 22-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin, and he scrambled for a 4-yard touchdown that made it 41-7 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

Tajh Boyd threw two interceptions for Clemson, and his first-quarter fumble was returned 37 yards for touchdown by Mario Edwards. Clemson (6-1, 4-1) turned it over a season-high four times, the first one on the first play from scrimmage.

Rashad Greene caught eight passes for 146 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard sprint that made it 24-7 Florida State in the second quarter.

The Seminoles broke a five-game losing streak at Memorial Stadium, scored more points than any opponent ever has in Death Valley and gave fourth-year coach Jimbo Fisher his biggest victory since taking over for Bobby Bowden.

Florida State is also perfect through six games for the first time since 1999, the last time Bowden's 'Noles won the national championship.

As for Clemson, the Tigers can't be accused of 'Clemsoning' this one away. They were simply outclassed.

Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary punctuated the beatdown in the third quarter, running over Clemson's Travis Blanks as he tried to make a tackle. Seminoles by a knockout. O'Leary finished with five catches for 161 yards.

The game marked only the fourth time that the conference better known for basketball has matched two top-five football teams, and the first time since 2005.

Not long after Clemson made its grand entrance, sprinting past Howard's Rock and down the hill onto the field, orange balloons filling the sky above Memorial Stadium, Florida State took control. On the first play from scrimmage Smith stripped Stanton Seckinger and Terrence Brooks recovered for the Seminoles at the Clemson 34.

Two plays later, Winston lofted deep down the sideline to the 6-foot-5 Benjamin, who went up high for the perfectly thrown ball and landed with it inside the pylon for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game.

Winston has been even better than advertised in his first season as a starter, hard to believe considering the hype. But this opponent and this setting represented by far the biggest challenge of his young career. Turns out, it was just another showcase game -- for Florida State's defense, too.

Lamarcus Joyner forced Clemson turnover No. 2, coming free on a backside blitz and knocking the ball free from Boyd. Edwards scooped and scored, covering the ball with two arms as he crossed the goal line with a Clemson player trying to strip it from behind. It was 17-0 with 3:07 left in the first quarter and Death Valley suddenly didn't seem so daunting.

Clemson made a much needed response, Boyd hitting Sammy Watkins with a 3-yard touchdown pass to trim the lead to 10 late in the first quarter. But the Tigers couldn't take advantage of good field position in the second quarter before Winston and his talented receivers struck again.

Winston beat a Clemson blitz with a quick pass to Greene, who slipped a tackle and was gone, 72 yards for a touchdown that made it 24-7 midway through the second. Greene made a shush gesture to the Clemson fans. He didn't need to. He had already quieted them.

Joyner's interception of Boyd in Florida State territory turned it into another field goal to make it 27-7 at halftime.

Boyd finished 17 for 37 for 156 yards.

The last sounds heard booming from Memorial Stadium were from the Florida State band, playing that familiar Seminole war chant with its fans chopping away.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Florida State's Rashad Greene catches eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns as the Noles cruise past Clemson. (USATSI)
Florida State's Rashad Greene catches eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns as the Noles cruise past Clemson. (USATSI)

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Scoring Summary
FSUKelvin Benjamin 22 yd pass from Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo kick)
FSURoberto Aguayo 28 yd FG
FSUMario Edwards 37 yd fumble return (Roberto Aguayo kick)
CLEMSammy Watkins 3 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick)
FSURashad Greene 72 yd pass from Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo kick)
FSURoberto Aguayo 24 yd FG
FSURashad Greene 17 yd pass from Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo kick)
FSUJameis Winston 4 yd run (Roberto Aguayo kick)
FSUDevonta Freeman 2 yd run (Roberto Aguayo kick)
FSURoberto Aguayo 20 yd FG
CLEMCole Stoudt 2 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick)
Team Stats
First Downs3026
Third Down Efficiency8-125-15
Fourth Down Efficiency0-03-5
Plays-Net Yards73-56586-326
Passing Yds444203
Kick Return Yds7368
Punt Return Yds2445
Time of Poss.35:2124:39
Individual Stats
FSU: Devonta Freeman 21-84, Karlos Williams 3-19, James Wilder 5-12, Chad Abram 1-3, Jameis Winston 7-2, Ryan Green 1-1
CLEM: Roderick McDowell 11-61, D.J. Howard 7-26, Zac Brooks 6-18, Tajh Boyd 14-8, Cole Stoudt 2-7, Sammy Watkins 1-3
FSU: Jameis Winston 22-34-444-1, Team 0-1-0-0
CLEM: Tajh Boyd 17-37-156-2, Cole Stoudt 5-8-47-0
FSU: Rashad Greene 8-146, Nick O'Leary 5-161, Kenny Shaw 5-64, Kelvin Benjamin 3-62, Devonta Freeman 1-11
CLEM: Sammy Watkins 8-68, Martavis Bryant 3-46, Roderick McDowell 3-11, Mike Williams 2-35, Zac Brooks 2-8, Adam Humphries 1-12, Jordan Leggett 1-10, Stanton Seckinger 1-9, Germone Hopper 1-4
Florida State3rd Atlantic Coast Atlantic5-310-3
Clemson1st Atlantic Coast Atlantic7-114-1

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