Source: USA TODAY
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Well, might as well break the single-game scoring record, too.
In a year when the Florida State football team is shattering school and conference marks seemingly every week, the Seminoles finished up the 2013 home schedule with even more as they crushed Idaho 80-14 on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Not only did FSU break the ACC record for most points in a single season (currently at 607), but the 80 points on Saturday was the most a Florida State football team has ever scored in a game, breaking the previous record of 77 set by the 1995 team.
“I don’t think our high school basketball team reached 80 points,” said senior receiver Kenny Shaw, who had five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game head coach Jimbo Fisher was asked if he had ever been on a team that scored 80 points before.
“Yes,” he said. “When I was in college (at Salem College in West Virginia) against Samford. My first game was against them. 82-9.”
When told that his head coach had quarterbacked a team that scored 82 points, FSU freshman quarterback Jameis Winston smiled.
“Well, I mean, I guess we’ve got to step our game up,” he said.
Winston finished 14 of 25 for 225 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He now has 32 TD passes on the year, which is one shy of Chris Weinke’s school record set in 2000.
Winston is still in the midst of an investigation in which he is accused of sexual battery, but that outside turmoil certainly hasn’t seemed to affect him very much – if at all — his past two games.
“The football field is a sanctuary to me,” said Winston. “And it’s like that for all my teammates. I can feel it. Because when we all go on that field everything is just zoned out. Clear the mechanism. And focus.”
Apparently their focus on Saturday, like it has been every week this season, was to obliterate the opponent.
And this particular opponent was an Idaho team (1-10) that had no shot of staying on the field with FSU, which is the first team ever to score 40-plus points in its first 11 games of the season.
“I feel like we’re playing at a high level,” said junior defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who had 4 ½ tackles for loss and 2 ½ sacks. “We’ve just got to keep playing at this level.”
Very few teams in college football history have played at the level the 2013 Seminoles have through 11 games.
Florida State, which has now outscored its 11 opponents by a total margin of 607-125, was favored by 57 on Saturday. And covered rather easily.
The junior running back trio of Devonta Freeman (11 carries for 129 yards), Karlos Williams (10 for 114) and James Wilder (4 for 85) combined for 329 yards and four touchdowns on just 25 attempts.
Shaw and sophomore receiver Kelvin Benjamin each had two touchdown catches.
Linebacker Telvin Smith and linebacker E.J. Levenberry both had interception returns for scores as the Florida State defense had four interceptions overall.
“We could tackle better as a defense,” Jernigan said. “There were a lot of missed tackles out there. So we’ve really got to make that up this week. As we go up against better football teams they’re going to turn those into seven points. We’ve really got to tighten up.”
Fisher didn’t disagree. Even though his team put an 80 on the board and won by 66 points, he wasn’t completely pleased with his team’s performance either. Which says just how much of a mismatch Saturday really was.
“Solid performance,” Fisher said. “I thought we were a little off in the first half. I thought we were more athletic, but I don’t think we tackled well in the first half. I thought on offense we had some lapses, mental things, that we haven’t had in a while.
“But we overcame them (and) made plays.”
A lot of plays. Which led to a lot of points and yet another blowout win.
Florida State finishes up the regular season with a road trip to play the rival Florida Gators, who lost to Georgia Southern on Saturday.
“It’s more of a pride game,” Winston said. “It doesn’t matter if we have everything to lose (and) they have nothing to lose. … All of the other stuff, it doesn’t really matter. They’re going to play their best game when they play against us.”
Clark also writes for the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat.