The much-hyped showdown in ACC turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Florida State and Clemson was only the fourth meeting with two ACC teams ranked in the top five of the Associated Press poll, but the Seminoles simply dominated the Tigers in a 51-14 rout.
Florida State sweeps the Athlon awards this week, as quarterback Jameis Winston gashed Clemson for 444 passing yards and three touchdowns to earn offensive and freshman of the week honors. The Seminoles held the Tigers to 14 points – the lowest scored by Clemson since a 34-13 defeat to South Carolina in 2011.
Elsewhere in the ACC, Wake Forest stunned Maryland, Georgia Tech blew out Syracuse and Duke picked up a key road win at Virginia.
Miami escaped Chapel Hill with a narrow win over North Carolina on Thursday night to stay among the ranks of the unbeaten.
ACC Week 8 Recap and Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
A crowd of over 83,000 and a top-five showdown on the road was nothing to Winston. The freshman completed 22 of 34 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns in the 51-14 blowout over Clemson. Winston also rushed for a four-yard score in the third quarter and had a 94-yard toss to tight end Nick O’Leary that nearly resulted in a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The freshman’s only interception was the result of a miscommunication by the coaching staff, which is just his third pick on the season.
Defensive Player of the Week: Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
Florida State’s entire defense had a strong effort against Clemson, but Joyner gets the nod as the ACC’s top defensive player of the week. The senior switched from safety to cornerback in the offseason and is having an All-American-caliber year. Joyner set the tone for the Seminoles’ defense on Saturday, as he forced a fumble on Clemson’s first play and later forced another turnover that was returned for a touchdown by Mario Edwards Jr. Joyner finished the night with eight tackles, two forced fumbles, one interception and one sack.
Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
Pruitt was a bit of a mystery coming into the season. After serving as Alabama’s secondary coach for three seasons, Pruitt was hired to replace Mark Stoops as Florida State’s defensive coordinator. In his first year calling the defense, Pruitt has been a big reason why the Seminoles haven’t missed much of a beat, despite returning only four starters. Clemson came into Saturday’s showdown against Florida State averaging 514.5 yards and 40.8 points a game. The Seminoles held the Tigers to 14 points and 326 yards, with Clemson’s offense managing just 3.8 yards per play. And with all of the new faces stepping into key roles this year, Florida State’s defense will only get better the rest of the season.
Team of the Week: Florida State
The question of whether or not Florida State is truly back was answered on Saturday night. The Seminoles thoroughly dominated Clemson 51-14 (ranked No. 3 nationally in Week 8) in Death Valley. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak in Death Valley and moved Florida State into the national title conversation. The Seminoles outgained Clemson 565 to 326, punted only twice and committed just one turnover. The 51-14 was arguably the biggest of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure and has the Seminoles positioned to play for the ACC Championship for the third time in four seasons.
Freshman of the Week: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
For this season, it’s almost time to rename the ACC Freshman of the Week honor in favor of Winston. The Florida State signal-caller threw for a career-high 444 yards and added four overall scores in the 51-14 victory over Clemson. In every game against BCS competition this season, Winston has completed at least 63 percent of his throws. The Alabama native ranks second nationally with a quarterback rating of 210.4 and sixth nationally in completion percentage (71.3).
• Miami quarterback Stephen Morris threw seven interceptions on 421 attempts last season but already has eight on 129 attempts in 2013.
• Pittsburgh running back rushed for a career high 240 yards against Old Dominion.
• Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price is only the second player in ACC history to throw, run and catch a touchdown in a game.
• Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett suffered a MCL injury against North Carolina and will miss four to six weeks. Dorsett ranks third on the team with 13 catches for 272 yards and two touchdowns.
• Georgia Tech linebacker Quayshawn Nealy recorded only two tackles against Syracuse but recovered one fumble and picked off a pass.
• North Carolina’s Eric Ebron set a school record by a tight end with 199 receiving yards against Miami.
• After running for 100 yards in back-to-back games, Virginia running back Kevin Parks was held to just 50 on 15 attempts against Duke.
• Georgia Tech completed only three passes in its 56-0 win over Syracuse.
• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro caught 11 passes against Maryland, which gave him the school record for career receptions with 217.