TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Coming off a 41-14 thrashing of the Miami Hurricanes, the Florida State Seminoles have reached a relatively easy part of the schedule as the team sets its sights on the ACC and BCS Championship.
The Seminoles beat NC State, Clemson, Maryland, and Miami by a combined 159 points over the past four weeks. The Noles (8-0, 6-0) need just one more ACC victory to win the Atlantic division. The team plays Wake Forest and Syracuse in the coming weeks and will likely be 20+ point favorites in both games.
"I give Florida State a lot of credit," Miami coach Al Golden said after the FSU loss. "That's an excellent team and a deep team. We have to play so much better than that and we did not."
The next real challenge for the No. 3 team in the BCS standing is rival Florida (4-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) in Gainesville on Nov. 30. Everything sets up for Florida State being undefeated before the Florida game and remaining a serious contender for a spot in the BCS championship game.
"We've played three pretty emotional games in a row," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We're going to see if we can keep continuing to mature and preparing well and growing as a team."
While Florida State doesn't have many challenges left on the field, two teams are still ahead of the Noles in the BCS Championship race, number one Alabama and number two Oregon.
Alabama has the toughest road to plow ahead. The Crimson Tide play number 10 LSU, number 7 Auburn, ahead of an SEC Championship game and a likely matchup with either South Carolina or Missouri.
The Ducks (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) have yet to play sixth-ranked Stanford, Arizona (6-2, 3-2) and Oregon State (6-3, 4-2) before a possible Pac-12 title game.
Florida State has the easiest backstretch of the three teams, but that doesn't help the Seminoles leapfrog if the other two remain undefeated.
"I feel like it could be that special season if we just play one game at a time and still dominate," Florida State running back Devonta Freeman said.
The Seminoles defense has dominated all season outside of giving up 34 points to Boston College, but the play of Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston has pushed the team to elite status.
Fisher was thrilled to see his team excel even when Winston struggled somewhat against the Hurricanes. The redshirt freshman still finished with 325 yard passing and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions and had several inaccurate throws.
Winston did bounce back from a shaky first half by completing 12-of-14 passes after halftime. The defense shut out the Hurricanes in the second half, forced two interceptions and got off the field on fourth-and-2 from the Florida State 26.
"I definitely feel like we did what we were supposed to do," Florida State nose guard Timmy Jernigan said. "Miami is a great team; they have a great rushing attack, one of the best in the country. We proved that we could play with the best tonight."
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