When the Florida State Seminoles took the field against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night, there was a lot on the line. As the no. 3 team in the country, they were invariably the favorites in the last matchup of undefeated teams, and a loss would all but dash any hopes of making the National Championship game this season.
Once the game began, it quickly became clear that the two teams did not belong on the same field. Miami did pick off Heisman Trophy contender Jameis Winston twice in the first half and went into halftime down only 21-14, but in terms of talent on both ends of the ball, the game was no contest.
When halftime broke, this talent gap translated into a blowout as each of Florida State’s games have been in 2013. Running backs James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman each scored a touchdown. Winston also provided an ever-steady hand, finishing 21-of-29 passing with 325 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on the night, while the team’s defense brought any offense to a halt.
It is safe to say that the end score of 41-14 was justified, and it should ring loud and clear to voters around the country about Florida State’s merit in the National Championship race. The Seminoles have now beaten the third and seventh-ranked teams in the nation by a combined score of 92-28, making them the only undefeated team who has beaten even a single team ranked top-five nationally and two teams ranked in the top-10.
When looking up and down the Seminoles roster, it is clear that the team has gotten to this point because it does not have a weak spot on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball.
Starting on offense, it is easy to see that Winston has a cannon of an arm that forces teams to stay on their toes, but he is not the only star performer. The team’s stable of running backs led by Freeman, Wilder and Karlos Williams has averaged 209.8 yards per game, which has helped to keep games out of reach after the passing game has established a dominant lead in nearly every game.
And as every good offensive unit does, the Seminoles would not be averaging an astounding 51.1 points per game without the help of an offensive line that makes holes as big as the grand canyon for the run game and gives Winston ages to pass the ball.
On the defensive end of the ball, the Seminoles are almost equally as dominant on the backs of an incredibly athletic group of players. This group has put an immense amount of pressure on any quarterback, in turn forcing teams to throw shaky balls or try and run through a line of brick walls on the defensive line. Suffice to say, neither option is a smart one, which has been defined by the team’s 13.1 average points allowed per game.
Both of these units rank in the top-five of any in the country, and they have already been through a row of tough teams that could expose nearly any other team in the country. This domination of tough teams should gain more merit than the fact that Alabama and Oregon have been among the best teams in the nation in the past, and vault the Seminoles to the no. 1 spot in the BCS rankings.