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ACC Notebook: Florida State cruises in another Top 10 showdown

The SportsXchange

Every time there's a major showdown in the ACC, it tends to lack drama.

Blame Florida State for that.

The Seminoles nixed the dramatics again in their second Top 10 clash in a three-week period. This time, they destroyed in-state rival Miami 41-14, and with that they might be inching closer to a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game.

While there's a ways to go before that's determined, at the very least the Seminoles have made the conversation about the top teams nationally that much more interesting.

It's just that some of their games haven't been all that compelling by the final minutes.

Jameis Winston threw for 325 yards as the Seminoles used a 20-0 margin in the second half to secure the home victory against Miami. A week after some second-half cracks showed in the defense (albeit with some different combinations on the field in a blowout), there was nothing but dominance in the second half.

The next question for the Seminoles will be if they can handle some tight late-game situations. What will the Seminoles do when there's real game pressure creeping into a situation?

That has gone largely unanswered because the Seminoles have been so much superior in their games.

They received a small taste of adversity against Miami. After all, QB Jameis Winston showed he isn't perfect and he threw two interceptions.

But the redshirt freshman seemed unfazed by those miscues and responded without many glitches. Coach Jimbo Fisher didn't flinch with Winston had a couple of hiccups and that tends to show the type of confidence that has developed both within the Florida State players and the coaching staff.

With all the hubbub about Winston, the Seminoles continue to showcase a championship-type defense without tons of fanfare.

If you're looking for one of those pressure-packed games for the Seminoles, don't expect to find it when they visit Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are coming off a shutout loss to Syracuse, dropping their record to 4-5 with back-to-back losses.


1. Florida State might be rebuilding the gap it once held on the rest of the ACC back in the 1990s. The Seminoles have been blowing out even the teams with good records in the ACC.

2. Boston College deserves recognition for its ability to piece together some good sequences. Perhaps its early Atlantic Division setbacks to Florida State and Clemson -- when the Eagles played well in stretches of both of those -- were misnomers.

3. Virginia Tech did so much good work after its opening loss to top-ranked Alabama that the Hokies looked primed to help enhance the ACC's profile. So much for that. A loss for the second week in a row -- this one to Boston College -- has thrown the Coastal Division race into total flux.

4. Georgia Tech is moving into position to play in the ACC championship game if a few things go its way, though its lone remaining ACC game comes against Clemson. The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 in league play, while some Coastal Division members have played only four or five conference games so far.

5. Virginia fans finally found something to cheer about. It's the sudden demise of Virginia Tech. that brought some happiness in Charlottesville, Va., but the way the Cavaliers are playing sure isn't anything to smile about.

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