Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston played with a sprained ankle in last Thursday's come-from-behind win over Louisville, but Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher isn't worried about the injury.
"Pain is temporary; you have to put it away," Fisher said during his news conference Monday. "The guys that can play with it and deal with it are the guys who have tremendous success for a long time. I thought he dealt with it for a long time."
Winston faced consistent pressure from Louisville's pass rush and seemed to be limping for most of the second half. While his 52.1 completion percentage was the lowest of his career, he threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns in rallying FSU from a 21-7 halftime deficit. Fisher said Winston's sore ankle didn't alter his play-calling, "not one bit."
While Winston struggled in the first half -- NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah called it "arguably the worst half of football in his college career" -- he turned it on in the second half, especially afer he suffered the injury.
Winston, who practiced Monday, will see another good pass rush this weekend against Virginia, which is strong on defense but mediocre on offense.
"They blitz and bring a lot of pressure," Fisher said of the Cavs and coordinator Jon Tenuta, who loves to bring extra people from everywhere and at all times.
"They can really rush the passer," Fisher said. "(End) Eli Harold and (outside linebacker) Max Valles can really get after the passer and they bring a lot of pressure. They can cover in the secondary. They are very multiple in their coverages."
Harold (6-foot-4, 250 pounds), a junior, leads the Cavs with seven sacks, a figure that ranks second in the ACC; he leads the league with 13 tackles for loss. Senior middle linebacker Henry Coley (6-2, 245) has six sacks, which is fifth in the league. Despite having four seniors in the starting offensive line, FSU has struggled at times in pass protection. The Seminoles have allowed 17 sacks and also 19 quarterback hurries, so Winston could be under siege again.
This will be Virginia's first road game at night since it won in Tallahassee in 2011.