Jameis Winston can't pull off any more second-half comebacks for Florida State, but that doesn't mean he can't inspire them.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had some fiery words for his former team at halftime of the Seminoles' 45-34 win over Ole Miss in Orlando on Monday. At the time, FSU trailed 28-13 and needed a touchdown pass with 28 seconds left in the first half to even be that close. In sum, Winston had some encouraging things to say about the Seminoles' skill players on offense, but was critical -- and correctly so -- about an offensive line that missed block after block in the first half.
Winston's remarks were captured by Showtime, which is following FSU this season for its "A Season With" series.
If the coaching staff's halftime words didn't sink in for the Seminoles, perhaps Winston's did. Either way, FSU roared to the biggest comeback in school history with 33 unanswered points, 26 of them to begin second-half scoring. Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois was spectacular in his career debut, passing for 419 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, plus 59 rushing yards.
The FSU offensive line still has plenty of work to do. The Ole Miss defense continued to punish Francois with some big second-half hits, and star running back Dalvin Cook was held to 4 yards per carry after averaging 7.4 a year ago. And of course, the Seminoles won't have the luxury of Winston's presence on a weekly basis.
But for one night, an earful from a former Heisman Trophy winner might have done something to help spark the team.