After a slow start, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston heated up in the second quarter and helped lead the second-ranked Seminoles to a 37-7 rout of Florida.
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Winston threw for 327 yards and three TDs -- each to third-year sophomore WR Kelvin Benjamin -- as Florida State remained on track for an appearance in the BCS national championship game. FSU plays Duke next week in the ACC title game.
Winston threw an interception on FSU's first drive, took a bad sack on the second drive, leading to a field goal, then oversaw a three-and-out on the Seminoles' third possession. But he got hot on the fourth possession, which started on FSU's 4-yard line after a Florida punt. Winston completed passes of 27 (for a first down on 3rd-and-26), 23 and 45 yards, with the 45-yarder the first TD catch for Benjamin.
After Florida went three-and-out, Winston guided FSU on a six-play, 74-yard drive that culminated in a 29-yard TD pass to Benjamin.
The third TD pass came midway through the fourth quarter and gave FSU a 34-7 advantage.
It was Winston's sixth 300-yard game of the season but his first since a 325-yard outing in a win over Miami on Nov. 2. It also was his seventh game this season with at least three touchdown passes.
Winston has thrown a FSU single-season-record 35 TD passes; the old mark had been 33 by Heisman winner Chris Weinke in 2000.
Benjamin came in as FSU's third-leading receiver, but he was tied for the team lead in TD receptions. He now has 12, and his size/speed combination (he's 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds) makes him an intriguing next-level prospect. While he has tight end size, he has been clocked as fast as 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.