25-27, 356 yards, 4 touchdowns. 25 yards rushing
The first thing that you will hear from a certain segment of the world will be that "the Pitt defense is terrible". That may be true (although I don't think so), but for comparison, last year FSU beat Murray State 69-3 at home. E.J. Manuel was 16-22 for 188 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Clint Trickett was 8-11 for 117 yards. Pretty big difference. In 2011, Manuel was was 22-34 for 252 yards, 2/1 in a 34-0 home win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Finally in 2010.....with two future first round picks.....in a 59-6 home win over Samford, Christian Ponder went 12-14 for 167 yards, 4/1 and Manuel went 10-13 for 129 with an interception. (that is 22-27, 296, 4/2 combined)
Given the circumstances here, first start, on the road, BCS team, hyped atmosphere for opener, this has to be seen as a "HOME RUN". HOME RUN. Winston's performance has set expectations for this year (and certainly next) at a National Championship. Period.
Winston was ALWAYS poised, he was as accurate as a passer can be (perfect), he showed 'it', and he ran the offense like a savvy veteran. It is hard to talk about 'upside' after a near perfect night, but one has to think that we did not see the very best of him in half no. 1.......a downright scary proposition to the rest of college football as well as our in-state neighbors to the south. He was simply sensational.
Other offensive pieces are in place as long as the injury bug does not hit too hard and the defense improved in the second half (really after the initial drive). All things considered this was a fairly impressive opener in all facets of the game. Things to work on? Sure. Any glaring holes? No.
FSU has the week off and then begin a stretch of Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, at Boston College, Maryland before another off week. After tonight's performance there is little reason to believe that this group of games is anything other than a tune-up for a showdown at Clemson on October 19th. That is what Winston proved tonight.