Jameis Winston’s 2013 Heisman-winning season was remarkable and 10 years ago today (Oct. 19, 2013), he turned in a performance that gave him a major boost in that season’s Heisman race.
Winston, as a redshirt freshman, was already garnering Heisman attention as he led the Seminoles to a 5-0 start and a No. 5 ranking midway through October in his first season starting.
Entering the road game in Death Valley, Winston had accumulated 1,441 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns to go with a pair of rushing scores, leading Florida State to five straight double-digit wins. The closest game was a 48-34 victory at Boston College.
But none of those games were against ranked teams as Florida State’s attention turned to the No. 8 Clemson Tigers, led by quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins.
In what was billed as the game of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference and one of the biggest regular-season matchups in ACC history ended up being dominated by Winston and Florida State as the Seminoles demolished the Tigers, 51-14.
Winston’s Heisman bonafides skyrocketed, as did FSU’s playoff hopes.
Winston, whose Seminoles scored more points than any visiting team ever had, passed for 444 yards on 22-of-34 passing with three touchdowns while he ran for one more in a dominant win.
The QB opened the scoring with a 22-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin less than 90 seconds into the game.
With the game still relatively close, Winston turned a 17-7 lead into a 17-point lead with a 72-yard catch-and-run touchdown strike to Rashad Greene that kicked off a 34-0 scoring outburst. Winston added a 17-yard scoring pass to Greene to open the second-half scoring and later ran in a touchdown from four yards out.
A year after Johnny Manziel broke the mold and won the 2012 Heisman as a redshirt freshman, Winston’s virtuoso performance at Memorial Stadium put him on the shortlist for 2013 contenders.
And it was a list that eventually narrowed to one, with Winston’s name on it.
Watch the highlights below: