TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It wasn’t the prettiest performance for Florida State, but against Miami, it’s not supposed to be pretty. Instead, Saturday’s 41-14 win over the Hurricanes was emotional and physical and, by the time it was over, dominating once again. These three performances stood out.
RB Devonta Freeman: For Freeman, the Miami game is personal. He’s from there, and he’s always wanted his performance against the Hurricanes to send a message to the people he grew up with. His message Saturday was delivered loud and clear. Freeman accounted for 176 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns, delivering one punishing run after another as FSU controlled the clock and the tempo. His 49-yard reception for a score in the second quarter was the game’s biggest play, but for Freeman, it was about all the little things that inspired the rest of the FSU offense throughout.
LB Terrance Smith: There have been plenty of tweaks to the FSU defense since the struggles against Boston College’s power running attack in September, but Smith’s emergence is perhaps the one that’s flown the most under the radar. Smith led all FSU players with 10 tackles Saturday, the second time he’s done that this season. Afterward, Jimbo Fisher called Terrance Smith a Telvin Smith clone, which is the highest of compliments for a Seminoles linebacker.
QB Jameis Winston: It was probably the worst game of Winston’s career, and yet, he was still superb through the majority of Saturday night’s win. Winston did have two bad interceptions that directly led to all of Miami’s points, but rather than lament the early struggles, he promised his teammates there would be no more mistakes in the second half. Winston delivered on his guarantee, completing 12-of-14 for 164 yards in a flawless second half.
Hat tips to: James Wilder Jr. returned from a concussion that kept him out of last week’s win and scored twice. … Nate Andrews scored his second interception of the season as he continues to develop into a reliable member of the rotation in the secondary. … Terrence Brooks had six tackles and a sack before leaving with a concussion.