Second half surge leads No. 3 FSU past No. 7 Miami
Tallahassee, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jameis Winston passed for 325 yards and a touchdown, Devonta Freeman scored three times and No. 3 Florida State shut out No. 7 Miami in the second half for a 41-14 win on Saturday night.
Winston was intercepted twice in the first half, leading to two Miami scores, but the Seminoles (8-0, 6-0 ACC) turned a 21-14 halftime lead into a rout with 20 unanswered points to hand the Hurricanes their first loss of the season.
Florida State has won its first eight games for the first time since 1999, when it went 12-0 and won the national championship.
"It's just like baseball," said Winston, who also plays the other sport for Florida State. "You've got to come back and bounce back and my team really helped me through it. I told the guys 'No more turnovers and we're going to go out there and win this game.'"
Freeman rushed 23 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns and also scored on a 48-yard reception for the Seminoles, who have won four in a row over Miami and seven of the last nine games between them.
James Wilder added two short touchdown runs, Freeman finished with 98 yards receiving and Winston was 21-of-29 passing.
Miami running back Duke Johnson was helped off the field in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury and then carted to the locker room. He rushed for 97 yards.
Miami's Stephen Morris threw for 192 yards and two touchdown passes to Allen Hurns but was intercepted twice.
The Hurricanes (7-1, 3-1), who entered the game with their highest ranking since 2005, were coming off a couple of close calls in their last two games -- last-minute wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest -- and couldn't keep pace in this one.
"Obviously we didn't do enough in this game to put any pressure on them," said Miami coach Al Golden. "Once we started getting behind it unraveled a little bit."
Johnson's right leg bent awkwardly underneath his body after he was stopped short of a first down on a 4th-and-2 play late in the third quarter.
Seminoles tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample made the initial stop but several players from both teams piled on top of the star back, who was helped to the sideline and then carted to the locker room.
The Seminoles were jumped by Oregon for No. 2 behind Alabama in the BCS standings despite easy wins over then-No. 3 Clemson and N.C. State the past two weeks.
They jumped ahead quickly against Miami after Freeman busted through the middle of the line and broke a tackle in front of the goal line on a 5-yard run to make it 7-0 on their first drive.
Matt Goudis missed a 44-yard field goal attempt for Miami, but the Hurricanes got the ball back when Deon Bush intercepted Winton's overthrown pass and Morris found Hurns in front of P.J. Williams down the right sideline for a 33- yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
Kelvin Benjamin's leaping 35-yard catch and Winston's 6-yard rush to the goal line set up Wilder's short rush for a 14-7 Florida State lead early in the second quarter.
Freeman turned a screen pass into a 48-yard touchdown, following lineman Josue Matias down the left side to make it 21-7 Seminoles with five minutes left in the first half. It was his first career touchdown catch.
"It was set up well. It was organized well," said Freeman. "Coach Jimbo (Fisher) knew they weren't ready for it and called a great play. The whole offensive line executed. It was just a great play."
Winston threw behind tight end Nick O'Leary and was picked off by Rayshawn Jenkins with two minutes remaining and Miami converted a 4th-and-1 play to set up Morris' 14-yard touchdown pass to Hurns, who got a foot down in the left side of the end zone on a nice catch to get the Hurricanes within 21-14 going into the break.
Wilder broke a pair of tackles and dove to reach the left pylon on a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave the Seminoles a 28-14 lead.
Williams intercepted Morris on Miami's next play and Freeman scored down the left side from 12 yards, capping a 79-yard drive to make it 35-14.
Roberto Aguayo kicked a 25-yard field goal after Nate Andrews picked Morris off and he kicked a 28-yarder for the final margin.
Aguayo has made a school-record 65 consecutive kicks, including 53 extra-point kicks and 12 field goals ... The game set an all-time attendance record at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium with 84,409 tickets distributed.
11/03 01:46:56 ET