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Freshman QB brings Florida State back

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- No E.J. Manuel? No problem for eighth-ranked Florida State.

With Manuel, who followed former Seminole Christian Ponder into the NFL, now running the Buffalo Bills' offense, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston is the Florida State quarterback.

So far, so good.

"He's not playing like a redshirt freshman," wide receiver Kenny Shaw said after Winston threw four touchdown passes, one a 55-yarder to Shaw as time expired in first half, to rally FSU to a 48-34 ACC victory over Boston College on Saturday.

"It's amazing playing with a guy like that," Shaw said. "He's looking for us to keep the team upbeat because we're the older guys, the wideouts, with more experience, but then again he's playing real good."

Winston threw for 330 yards and ran for 74 more in outdueling counterpart Chase Rettig as Florida State overcame a 17-3 second-quarter deficit and moved to 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the ACC.

The bomb to Shaw completely turned the game around. FSU had already rallied to tie 17-17 with 1:49 left in the first half. Winston, sacked on first down, followed a 13-yard run by Devonta Freeman with the big play. He eluded another sack and fired down the right sideline. For some reason, in what should have been a situation where BC had its goal line protected, Shaw was 1-on-1 with safety Spencer Rositano and made a great catch. The Seminoles went ahead to stay.

"I knew he could get it down there," Shaw said. "He can throw on his knees, probably, to the end zone."

"I just wanted to score a touchdown before the half and Kenny made a great play," said Winston, who was 17-for-27 with an interception and is 50-for-64 for 1,048 yards, 12 TDs and two picks in four games. "He's an outstanding target that I've got, and he made an outstanding play."

Winston, who also threw TD passes of 56 and 10 yards to Rashad Greene, was critical of himself for mistakes, saying he has a lot of work to do to get better.

Coach Jimbo Fisher feels that way about his team, calling his 'Noles "a work in progress." FSU has had trouble with slow starts and this was another one.

As far as his quarterback goes, Fisher said, "I'm going to say this now: I'm glad he's on my team."

The Seminoles also got a fourth-quarter 20-yard interception return for a score by P.J. Williams and have outscored their four opponents 205-60. But BC scored more than the first three foes combined.

"You come out of that game and you don't feel good at all, because it's all about winning," said first-year BC coach Steve Addazio, who called the last-second first-half play "devastating." "But you feel like you have the foundation in place of a team that's tough and going to come in and battle.

"I'm upset about the big plays. We let up too many big plays on defense and that's upsetting to me."

Rettig threw a career-high four touchdown passes, two to tight end C.J. Parsons, but it wasn't enough as the rebuilding Eagles fell to 2-2 (1-1 ACC) with their second straight loss.

Boston College has lost 11 straight games to ranked teams and has allowed 83 points in the last two games.

The Eagles led 17-3 less than four minutes into the second quarter before Winston hit Greene with a 56-yard touchdown pass that began the FSU onslaught.

BC's Andre Williams, the ACC's rushing leader coming into the game, ran for 149 yards on 28 carries.

Williams surpassed 100 yards rushing in the second quarter, but the 'Noles kept nine men on the line of scrimmage and shut him down after that.

NOTES: Sinkovec was playing his first game of the season after missing three with a leg injury. ... BC's first 14 points were more than FSU had allowed in an entire game this season. ... Florida State hosts Maryland and BC is home to face Army next Saturday. ... FSU has outscored BC 137-48 in the last three meetings. ... Greene has caught a touchdown pass in five straight games, the second such streak of his career. ... Fisher is 35-10 at FSU, the .778 winning percentage tops in ACC history. ... BC came in as the least-penalized team in the country and had three penalties for 44 yards. The Eagles have been guilty of only eight penalties in four games. ... BC's last win against a ranked team was over No. 20 Florida State on Nov. 15, 2008.
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