Recapturing the Seminoles' Championship Year
Offensive MVP: Jameis Winston
Well you have to give the offensive MVP to the Heisman trophy winning quarterback. Jameis Winston looked great from the first time he stepped onto the field, throwing for 356 yards and five touchdowns against Pittsburgh in the season opener. The redshirt freshman quarterback also broke the school record for touchdown passes (40). But to be this dominant, he of course needed a supporting cast. There were three players that had over 1,000 yards on offense: Devonta Freeman (RB), Kelvin Benjamin (WR) and Rashad Greene (WR). Yes you read that right, the Seminoles had two receivers gain over 1,000 yards; the two also combined for 24 touchdowns. So needless to say, there will be extremely high expectations with Winston for next season.
Defensive MVP: Timmy Jernigan
Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was a close second, but the defense relied heavy on the beast in the trenches. Junior defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan’s presence was always felt by opposing quarterbacks. Whether he was blowing up an offensive lineman or making a play in the backfield, Jernigan always required special attention. But the secondary was also responsible for the No. 1 defense in college football. The Seminoles had 35 takeaways, which ranked first in the FBS. I hope all Florida State fans enjoyed this season; a defense like this doesn’t come around very often.
Best Performance: At Clemson
I guess Florida State didn’t get the memo that this was supposed to be a close game. The Seminoles went into Memorial Stadium, in front of 83,428 fans and destroyed No. 3 Clemson 51-14 on national television. The whole country witnessed Winston pick apart the Tigers’ defense, throwing for 444 yards and three touchdowns. The defense was also relentless, only giving up 156 yards in the air to quarterback Tajh Boyd. This was the team’s first big road test, and they passed with flying colors.
Biggest Moment: Rashad Greene Catch and Run
Down 31-27 with one minute to go in the national championship, the Seminoles were looking for an answer. Surely Winston would have to showcase his arm and throw a few deep posts or seams to get in the end zone. Instead, receiver Rashad Greene turned a simple seven yard route into a 49 yard gain by splitting two Auburn tacklers. Without this play, the Seminoles may have not done any celebrating after the game.
Best Play Call: Fake Punt
Head coach Jimbo Fisher may have called the play of the year when he ran a fake punt just before halftime against Auburn. The eventual score cut the Tigers’ lead to 11 and gave the Seminoles momentum for the second half.