GAINESVILLE -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has now thrown for more touchdown passes in a season than any quarterback in Florida State history.
Winston — who finished 19 for 31 for 327 yards, three touchdowns and an interceptions — entered the game tied with Danny Kanell (32 TDs in 1995) for second in the program’s history. By the time the redshirt freshman hooked up with wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for two first half-touchdown passes, he was in sole possession of first. The previous record-holder, Chris Weinke, threw 33 in 2000.
Winston is technically one TD pass behind Kanell in the unofficial tally though.
Whereas Winston threw his 35 touchdown passes in 12 regular-season games, Weinke and Kanell threw theirs in 11. Weinke was held without a scoring pass during his 12th game, the 2000 Orange Bowl (bowl statistics didn’t count toward season stats until 2002), and Kanell threw for four in an Orange Bowl win against Notre Dame in 1995.
That gives Kanell — unofficially — 36 in 1995.
Despite playing in an extra game than his two predecessors though, Winston has attempted far fewer passes. Weinke threw 431 times in 2000, Kanell threw 402 times in 1995. Winston — who seldom plays past the middle of the third quarter — has attempted just 317 passes this season.
Winston (6-4, 225 pounds) needs just one TD pass next week in the ACC Championship Game against Duke to tie the unofficial mark, two to break it.
Making them pay
Earlier in the week the Gators discussed their plan to cover the Seminoles’ receivers man-to-man, on Saturday that completely backfired.
After dropping a couple of passes early, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Benjamin took the game over starting in the second quarter.
“I think when I first came out there it was kind of different,” said Benjamin when asked about the Gators playing man-to-man coverage against him. “It was a faster pace, the balls were coming faster and stuff like that, but once I adjusted to it, you know…”
Benjamin finished with nine receptions for 208 yards and three touchdowns — including two long touchdown receptions on back-to-back series to close the first half. For the season Benjamin now has 12 touchdown receptions, tying him with Ron Sellers, Greg Carr and Peter Warrick for fourth all time in a season in FSU history.
On a roll
Roberto Aguayo is a finalist for the Groza award — given annually to the nation’s top kicker — and he kicked like it Saturday. The redshirt freshman hit three field goals and four extra points to send his point total to 138 points this season. Aguayo is 84 for 84 on extra points and 18 for 19 on field goals.
He has has outscored FSU’s opponents 138-132 this year.
This and That
• Jimbo Fisher is now 7-1 against in-state rivals. He is 3-1 against Florida and 4-0 against Miami.
• Jameis Winston has thrown for at least 200 yards in the first half of a game eight times this year. He has thrown for more than 300 in a game six times.
• FSU failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time in the last eight games Saturday.
• Rashad Greene (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) now has a reception in 27 straight games.
• Florida State has not trailed in a game since Sept. 28 against Boston College.