TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – How do you follow-up a nearly flawless debut as the starting quarterback at Florida State? That’s the task facing redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston on Saturday when the Noles take on the Nevada Wolfpack.
Winston tore through the Pittsburgh Panthers defense in the opening game of the season to the tune of 25 of 27 for 356 yards and five touchdowns while leading the Noles to a 41-13 victory. That game was on the road and in the rain.
Now, Winston and the Noles return home to the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium and more than 80,000 of his biggest fans to face the Wolfpack. The pressure is ratcheting up on Winston, but so far, he doesn’t seem fazed by the hype.
“When you’re the quarterback of a big university, you’re going to get that,” Winston said. “All eyes are going to be on you. When you stay grounded, that’s where you gain respect from everybody.”
Winston has gained the respect of his Seminole teammates. His play has spoken volumes but it’s also how he downplays the attention and focuses on the opponent that impresses them.
“He has to keep on fulfilling the prophecy,” cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said. “That was a great first game from a young guy. People expected so much from him. We know what he’s capable of. When you see him do it, it’s like, ‘We really do have something with this kid.’”
Florida State may see plenty of offense against a Nevada team that gave up 58 points to UCLA in the Wolfpack’s season opener. UCLA had 647 yards of total offense against Nevada.
Winston will be playing in his home opener in front of a crowd that is energized by what they saw him do against Pittsburgh. He knows the expectations are high but he plans to feed off the crowd’s energy.
“It’s really going to be less (pressure) on me than it was at Pitt because our team is really going to be excited and we’re going to be ready to play in front of our home fans,” Winston said.
And Florida State will have a few players back from injuries following a bye week. Tailback James Wilder is back on the practice field and said he is feeling good after hurting his shoulder in the second half of the Pittsburgh game. Guard Tre’ Jackson (foot) is also expected to play on Saturday against Nevada.
Florida State also will work in safety Karlos Williams at tailback. Williams, who played both positions in high school, has been working with the running backs in practice but will still see some playing time on defense.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said that Williams has done well in practice and has made a quick adjustment to playing offense.
“I’ve been extremely pleased with his ability to learn and process information and move on — he’s an intelligent young man,” Fisher said.
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