Florida State needs Jameis Winston


Much has been said about Jameis Winston’s off the field antics. His most recent incident, an explicit outburst on campus, resulted in a suspension from Saturday’s game against Clemson. While Winston’s decision making can be questioned, his importance to Florida State cannot be overstated.

The Seminoles were not the same team with backup quarterback Sean Maguire under center. It became clear almost immediately that Winston is not just a Heisman candidate, but one of the most valuable players in college football. His presence opens up the entire Florida State offense, and Maguire did not have that effect.

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Florida State did in fact manage to beat Clemson in overtime, but that is beside the point. Clemson gave the game away, and Florida State’s offense was lackluster for four quarters. Maguire did throw for over 300 yards, but completed just over half of his passes. The run game was even worse. The tandem of Karlos Williams and Mario Pender ran for only 60 yards on 18 carries, barely over 3 yards per attempt. Including sacks, Florida State finished with just 13 total rush yards.

Florida State averaged nearly 4.8 yards per carry in their first two games, both started by Winston. Clemson does have one of the most revered defensive lines in the country, but they also didn’t have to focus as much on the pass or the quarterback scramble.

Winston may be a knucklehead, but Florida State needs him. If he were to be injured or get suspended again, their playoff hopes would take a major hit.