One of Florida State’s biggest goals for the spring as the Seminoles prepped to defend its BCS title? Keep its Heisman Trophy winner upright, healthy and fully functional — on both the football field and baseball diamond.
On that front, consider one-half of the mission accomplished.
In front of a surprisingly sparse crowd of 36,500, the Seminoles wrapped up spring practice with a matchup pitting the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense. As the triggerman man of that offense, Jameis Winston passed for 396 yards and a pair of touchdowns in leading the Garnett to a 31-14 win over the Gold team Saturday.
While Winston completed just 27 of his 56 pass attempts and tossed one interception, he was playing at a disadvantage on a couple of fronts: one, he was facing what will likely be the toughest and most talented defense he’ll see in the regular season and, two, the Seminoles are in the process of replacing some key weapons on offense — they do return nearly every starting offensive lineman, though — and that simply takes time.
“I thought Jameis started out slow early. We didn’t have many guys open and that secondary was locking them down,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We gradually got guys open and he made some throws.”
Winston will now turn most of his sports focus to the stick-and-ball game. The redshirt sophomore is a relief pitcher and designated hitter on the Seminoles’ top-ranked baseball squad; Winston was in Atlanta Friday for the start of a three-game series against Georgia Tech, and was leaving Tallahassee for the final game of the set Sunday in the same city.
For his part, Winston was hoping Saturday’s schedule had played out differently for both sports.
“I wish I could of played in [Saturday's baseball] game, I wish we had a night game so I could rush and skip all [the media duties] and play,” said Winston, whose baseball teammates dropped a 12-4 decision to the Yellow Jackets earlier in the day that extended the club’s losing streak to three straight.
The baseball Seminoles’ season will end sometime in June, in plenty of time for Winston to get a little R & R ahead of the “voluntary” summer conditioning program and summer camp.