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Jameis Winston throws 3 TD passes as FSU wins ACC title

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Mike McCarn/Associated Press
QB Jameis Winston rebounded from a poor outing last week with a strong showing in the ACC title game.

Jameis Winston led Florida State to its 29th consecutive victory Saturday night by throwing for 309 yards and three touchdowns as the Seminoles held off Georgia Tech 37-35 in the ACC championship game.


» Winners, losers of Week 15 college football action


Winston's sixth 300-yard game of the season moved Florida State to 13-0 on the season, and should have locked up a playoff bid. FSU is the only unbeaten team in the nation, yet was ranked fourth in the latest College Football Playoff selection committee top 25.

College football: Week 15

Saturday's win was the Seminoles' seventh by single digits this season. Yet for all the talk about how FSU has been unimpressive, it also is unbeaten. Each of the three teams ahead of the Seminoles in the rankings have lost once and could've lost at least one more (Alabama to Arkansas, Oregon to Washington State and TCU to Kansas and West Virginia).

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was asked on the field after the game by ABC about any decision the playoff committee has to make about the Seminoles. "There ain't no decision to be made -- the decision just got made," he answered.

Winston finished 21-of-30 (70 percent completion rate), with the three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was just the third time in 13 games this season that he was interception-free, and also the fourth time he threw at least three TD passes. He had thrown five TD passes and eight interceptions in the past four games.

He was able to shrug off the worst game of his career (last week's four-interception outing in a win over Florida) and didn't let his off-field issues follow him onto the field; Winston spent two days during the week at his code-of-conduct hearing.


» Can't-miss Moments: Top college football plays of Week 15


Winston received ample help from true freshman tailback Dalvin Cook. With starting tailback Karlos Williams out with a concussion, Cook came through with a monster game; he rushed for a career-high 177 yards and a TD on a career-high 31 carries. He has rushed for 311 yards in the past two games and has shown he has the talent to be the focal point of the offense next season -- and play a huge role in the playoff.

Georgia Tech scored touchdowns on each of its first three drives, with each time-consuming drive covering at least 71 yards. The Yellow Jackets -- who rushed for 331 yards -- scored on their first second-half drive, then bogged down until driving 97 yards in the final minutes to cut the lead to two. But FSU, which won its 15th ACC title, recovered an onside kick with 1:46 left so seal yet another narrow victory.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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