Date: August 30, 2014
Location: AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
Opponent: Oklahoma State Cowboys
We certainly don’t want to jump the proverbial shark with this countdown. However, leaping the Oklahoma State Cowboys on the home field of the pro team that shares the same moniker? That’s fair game.
Florida State began its 2014 season coming off the second perfect, national-title campaign in school history. But there was little rest for the talented Seminoles, who drew Oklahoma State in a high-profile opener against the Cowpokes in Arlington. Things began swimmingly for the ’Noles, though, who jumped out to a 17-0 lead against a talented OSU squad that featured future NFL burner Tyreek Hill.
Early on, it looked somewhat easy. Kinda like 2013. So I did what any reporter covering his first game would have done: like a complete moron, I began typing up my gamer in the press box of JerryWorld, a story about how FSU had once again cruised to victory. And I did so in the second quarter.
To quote Forrest Gump: “I’m not a smart man.”
Florida State’s 17-0 lead became 17-7, and then 17-10 at the half. In the third quarter, the once comfortable Seminole lead was trimmed to 20-17. And that’s when Jameis Winston went full-on galloping-ostrich mode— but in perhaps the most graceful form it ever took in an FSU uniform.
On a QB run, Winston jets up the middle behind an effective lead block from RB Karlos Williams, while staying on the six of hard-charging Josue Matias, who confessed to us after the game that he was playing while ill. That made it all the more deserved that Matias got a rest on this play, in the form of hitting the deck to enable Winston’s signature hurdle. So while Winston did hurdle Okie State to get the win in the big picture, on this play, specifically, he jumped his own lineman, who showed some great awareness.
But that wasn’t all. Winston then displayed some amazing lateral quickness, side-stepping a Cowboy defender before powering his way into the end zone behind a nice downfield block from Travis Rudolph. I’ve already penned the piece on Winston’s first appearance in this countdown— and you know that he’s sure to resurface again. But for all the phenomenal throws he made in the garnet and gold, the clip included below prompts the question: did he ever look this good running in the open field as a Seminole?
In a contest that ended 37-31 in FSU’s favor, this wasn’t technically the game-winning play. But Winston’s 28-yard dash halted a 17-3 Oklahoma State run, reclaiming momentum for Florida State. Moreover, it extended a ’Nole winning streak that would go on to reach a program-best 29-straight victories, including a second-consecutive undefeated regular season.
And yeah, while I wound up deleting the entirety of my draft chronicling an FSU W and starting from scratch, I did have one thing right: the Seminoles returned to Tallahassee as winners. This play was no small reason why.