Winston throws 3 TDs, No. 3 FSU rolls over NC State 49-17
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes and No. 3 Florida State scored 35 points in the first quarter on the way to a 49-17 victory against North Carolina State on Saturday in Bobby Bowden's return to Doak Campbell Stadium.
Bowden, the NCAA career leader in major college football victories, planted the spear at midfield before the game a job usually done by Florida State's Seminole mascot. The school honored the 83-year-old Bowden with a pregame ceremony that included nearly 400 former players.
Then the current Seminoles went out and put on display that Bowden's best teams would have been proud of, setting up a huge game with unbeaten Miami next week in Tallahassee.
Winston completed 16-of-26 passes for 292 yards with one interception and left the game after the opening series of the second half.
Rashad Greene topped 100 yards receiving for the third consecutive game with eight receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles (7-0, 5-0).
The Wolfpack upset the Seminoles in Raleigh, N.C., last season, but this year it was no contest as Florida State put on a show for its old coach.
N.C. State (3-4, 0-4) had quarterback Brandon Mitchell back for the first time since breaking his foot in the season opener. He completed 17-of-33 passes for 128 yards with two interceptions.
Mitchell threw an interception to Terrence Brooks on the second snap of the game and the Seminoles scored four plays later. This was the beginning of a long day for the Wolfpack, who previously won the last four meetings when the Seminoles were ranked. The 35 first-quarter points tied a Florida State record for the most points in a single quarter.
Karlos Williams took a pitch to the right side, shook a defender and raced to the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
The Wolfpack promptly went three-and-out on the next possession and Winston threw a 39-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin on the first play.
N.C. State went three-and-out for the second consecutive possession and Florida State took its time on the next scoring drive. The possession needed seven plays for Devonta Freeman to score an 11-yard touchdown through gaping holes. Florida State then led 21-0.
The Seminoles were overwhelming in the first 15 minutes, but the Wolfpack didn't do themselves any favors. Johnathan Alston fumbled on the second snap after the Freeman touchdown and Telvin Smith recovered. Brooks forced his second turnover of the day with a hit on Alston.
Florida State went back to its quick-strike ways with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Winston to Nick O'Leary on the second snap after the fumble. That put the Seminoles up 28-0 with four touchdowns scored in 4:13 of possession time.
And they weren't done.
The Wolfpack punted on the next possession after a desperate illegal forward pass by Mitchell that resembled a no-look, over-the-shoulder basketball pass. Florida State needed five plays to score this time. Winston found Greene for a 42-yard score for his third touchdown pass of the day to go up 35-0.
The Seminoles set a school record for seven consecutive games scoring 40-plus points when Freeman recorded his second touchdown on a 4-yard run with 3:06 left in the second quarter.