Jimbo Fisher placed yet another stamp on the Florida State football program Saturday night.
With a 37-12 win over The Citadel at a wet Doak Campbell Stadium, Fisher’s Seminoles set a new school record with their 18th consecutive win.
Quarterback Jameis Winston threw two touchdowns for FSU, which hasn’t lost since Nov. 24, 2012. The Seminoles haven’t so much as trailed during a regular-season game in 46 quarters.
FSU’s current streak surpasses the one set in 1999-2000. That team also featured a Heisman winner, quarterback Chris Weinke, and won a national title.
“Hopefully that can keep going,” Fisher said. “We’ve played with consistency and that’s what sports is, doing it over and over and over and over.”
Winston bounced back from an uneven performance last week against Oklahoma State with a strong outing on Saturday.
The redshirt sophomore got out to a 16-of-17 start and finished 22 of 27 with 256 yards before exiting late in the third quarter.
And FSU’s running game got on track with 34 carries for 203 yards (6.0 YPC) spread across seven different ballcarrriers. Freshman Dalvin Cook from Miami Central, making his collegiate debut, led the Seminoles with a 13-carry, 67-yard effort that included a five-yard touchdown run.
Senior Karlos Williams added 66 yards and a score on nine attempts.
Things weren’t all spectacular for FSU’s offense, though. After taking a 28-0 lead into haltime, the Seminoles failed to score a second-half touchdown despite penetrating the red zone on three separate occasions.
The missed opportunites led to Roberto Aguayo field goals of 22, 27 and 21 yards.
“It’s definitely a little frustrating,” left tackle Cam Erving said. “But it’s never anything big. It’s always the small things and that’s what Coach Fisher is always harping on.
“We have to be harder on each other about everybody just doing individual jobs and finishing drives in the end zone.”
The game also served as a showcase for several Miami-area Seminoles.
Sophomore receiver Jesus Wilson, back in the lineup after a one-game suspension, caught a swing pass from Winston and scampered into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.
Wilson, a former Columbus High standout, finished with three catches for 35 yards.
Cook (Miami Central) and fellow highly regarded freshman Ermon Lane (Homestead) made their first marks on the stat sheet, too.
Cook took his first career carry 17 yards and later finished off the drive with his first scoring run. And Lane hauled in his first completion for 14 yards and ended up with 37 yards on three catches.
“You see (Cook’s talent). You see the ability,” Fisher said. “Guy is going to be one heck of a football player. He needs to keep coming for us to keep going where we want to go.”
Florida State’s first-team defense kept The Citadel’s triple-option offense mostly under wraps, but its success came at a potentially high price.
Three defensive tackles — starters Eddie Goldman and Nile Lawrence-Stample and reserve Justin Shanks — all suffered what FSU called “lower leg” injuries as the result of The Citadel’s cut-blocking scheme.
None of that trio returned to the game, though Goldman came back to the sideline with a boot on his left foot.
“I don’t know how bad the injuries are,” Fisher said. “When you play those kinds of teams, they’re constantly cutting knees and ankles ...Nothing illegal about it. It’s just football.”
FSU held The Citadel off the scoreboard until a freshmen-heavy lineup surrendered a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs struck for another score against the reserves with 12 seconds to go.
This and that