Jameis Winston’s performance against Clemson was nearly flawless. Just ask Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.
Even one of the few miscues for Winston — a first-quarter interception — wasn’t totally on the Florida State freshman quarterback.
“The interception was our fault,” Fisher said. “The headset went out. We signaled the route to the receiver and they ran the double move. The coach who signaled to Winston signaled for the single move. We had to throw away the headset. That could have cost you the ballgame. It cost us a huge turnover in the game. He didn't make that mistake, but he handled it well."
Winston’s poise has been the theme of the season for Florida State as much as the Seminoles’ return to the national championship stage. Against Clemson on the road, Winston displayed both by passing for 444 yards in a 51-14 rout of the Tigers.
Winston’s performance against the then-No. 3 Tigers earned him his second sweep of Athlon Sports National Player of the Week and National Freshman of the Week awards.
Athlon Sports Week 8 National Awards
National Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week: Jameis Winston, Florida State
A crowd of more 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.
National Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Sam, Missouri
Missouri beat Florida 36-17 in Maty Mauk’s first start at quarterback, but the story of the day was the Tigers’ surprisingly dominant defense. Defensive end Michael Sam recorded three sacks — to increase his SEC-leading total to 9.0 — to spearhead a Mizzou defense that limited Florida to 151 yards of offense. Sam also leads the SEC with 13.0 tackles for a loss.
National Coordinator of the Week: Derek Mason, Stanford
UCLA's Heisman-contending quarterback Brett Hundley came into the game 11th in the nation in passing efficiency (165.0) and eighth nationally in total offense (345.8 yards per game). The Bruins were fifth nationally in total offense (547.0 yards per game) and seventh in scoring offense (45.8). Mason's physical defense held UCLA to just 10 points and 266 yards of offense, and, in particular, made life miserable for Hundley. The Bruins quarterback threw two interceptions, was sacked four times and mustered just 219 yards of offense.
Athlon Week 8 Conference Awards
Offense: Jameis Winston, Florida State
Defense: Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
Coordinator: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
Offense: Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
Defense: Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
Freshman: Davis Webb, Texas Tech
Coordinator: Phil Bennett, Baylor
Offense: Devin Gardner/Jeremy Gallon, Michigan
Defense: Max Bullough/Denicos Allen, Michigan State
Freshman: T.J. Simmons, Indiana
Coordinator: Tracy Claeys, Minnesota
Offense: Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
Defense: Jordan Richards, Stanford
Freshman: Michael Adkins II, Colorado
Coordinator: Derek Mason, Stanford
Offense: Tre Mason, Auburn
Defense: Michael Sam, Missouri
Freshman: Marquez North, Tennessee
Coordinator: Bob Shoop, Vanderbilt