UF Notebook

Florida Gators preparing to face FSU’s Jameis Winston despite legal troubles


Miami Herald Writer

While Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston awaits a looming decision on potential charges for an alleged sexual assault, Florida’s defensive coaches aren’t waiting for the State Attorney Office’s judgment.

“We're preparing like he's playing,” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “Their offense, they have a really good system. … They do what they do. They've done it for years since Jimbo Fisher [has] been there. We expect to see that [regardless who plays quarterback].”

Winston, a redshirt freshman, pilots a dynamic FSU attack that ranks No. 2 nationally in scoring offense (55.2 points per game). The first-year starter has thrown 32 touchdowns this season — just four less (36) than Florida has thrown during the entire Will Muschamp era.

“[His arm] is strong as I’ve seen on tape. He can make all the throws and he does make all the throws,” Durkin said. “He’s got great confidence in his arm and you can understand why. It’ll be our biggest challenge of the year.”


After shaming his team’s offensive performances in his most recent media appearances, Muschamp defended embattled coordinator Brent Pease, who most believe will be fired following the FSU game.

“When you lose three offensive tackles, two quarterbacks, a 1,000-yard rusher and a receiver, it makes it very difficult — very difficult to call plays,” Muschamp said Wednesday. “Brent's a good playcaller and an outstanding football coach. It's been frustrating for all of us, including him, our production offensively this year.”

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