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ACC Notebook: Winston shines as Seminoles trounce Tigers

The SportsXchange

So much for that moment in the spotlight for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Dubbed as perhaps the biggest football game in the conference's history, things went awry -- at least for Clemson -- when Florida State poured on a 51-14 victory Saturday night.

The Seminoles socked Clemson right from a get-go, turning this supposed showdown of Top 5 teams into a romp. The road victory should put the Seminoles squarely in the national championship discussion, highlighted by QB Jameis Winston, who threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns.

So while the ACC didn't receive the special feel-good treatment of a classic game, at least one team showed it might be a real national contender.

Florida State did that and perhaps a whole lot more. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston thrust himself into the Heisman Trophy discussion.

Clemson dipped back to rest of the heap, at least for now.

FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 8 IN THE ACC

1. Florida State did more than win a game because it looked like one of those Seminoles teams of old the way they manhandled Clemson every which way. A victory would have been nice for the Seminoles, but they clearly made a statement with the 51-14 road thrashing.

2. Miami showed it has some depth because the Hurricanes needed it after losing a couple of its main play-makers in the first half against North Carolina. The Hurricanes rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to win 27-23, mainly behind RB Dallas Crawford.

3. Don't give up on Georgia Tech just yet after the Yellow Jackets got their act together to throttle Syracuse after three consecutive losses. It might be too late for Georgia Tech to crawl back into the reasonable contention in the Coastal Division, but the Yellow Jackets have a little more buzz left nonetheless.

4. Maryland has five victories and yet the Terrapins might be headed down a similar road as in recent seasons if the injury bug continues to cause problems. They've been outscored 97-10 in two ACC road games.

5. Wake Forest had a nearly must-win game for homecoming in defeating Maryland because that pushed the Demon Deacons to a 4-3 record. With a schedule that still includes -- among others -- road games at Miami and Vanderbilt and a home matchup with Florida State, the Demon Deacons have their work cut out looking ahead.
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