No. 20 Duke looks to slow down top-ranked FSU QB

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm •  Published: December 4, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State's Jameis Winston has dissected defenses all season.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher believes his quarterback has been able to make it look easy because of his decision-making and accuracy.

Winston, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, will try to shred Duke's defense Saturday when the top-ranked Seminoles take on the No. 20 Blue Devils in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said, "We can't give up a bunch of big explosive plays and beat this football team."

But it's still unclear whether Winston will get the opportunity to challenge Duke's defense. State attorney Willie Meggs said Wednesday he has concluded his investigation of an alleged sexual assault case involving Winston and has scheduled a press conference on Thursday to announce the results.

Florida State policy dictates that a student-athlete is suspended from game action until the charge is resolved "absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration." The team is schedule to fly to Charlotte on Thursday night.

Fisher said Winston works hard at his craft and expects him to perform well Saturday if his playing status doesn't change.

"He's studied and learned from his mistakes," the coach said. "And also advanced in his knowledge of what he's trying to do and how to get guys the ball and what (opponents) are trying to do to him. How they cover us. ... I think that's where he's really evolved. Take this away and he's able to go to this part of the game or this part of the game.

"He truly understands the 'whys' of the game. If you don't understand why you do something, you can never repeat it and be consistent with it. That's one of the things about him that excites me so much. That's why he's been so consistent, because he truly understands the 'whys' of the game."

Fisher isn't the only one who has taken notice.

Winston, a redshirt freshman, Wednesday took home two more ACC awards: player of the year and offensive player of the year. He was named offensive rookie of the year on Tuesday. Winston set conference freshman records with 3,490 yards passing and 35 touchdowns.

Despite the ongoing sexual assault investigation, on the field Winston and the Seminoles (12-0) have remained focused. The preparation phase has been a significant part of Winston's decision-making ability. Fisher runs intense offensive meetings so Winston is able to recognize a defense and know the weakness of the call.

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