College football: Can Florida State beat Clemson without Winston?
The Seminoles' Heisman Trophy winner is suspended for this weekend's game. Who will step in at quarterback for Florida State?
Updated at 7:40 a.m. Saturday:
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will be on the sideline when the top-ranked Seminoles play host to 22nd-ranked Clemson Saturday night. The university originally suspended Winston for the first half of the game because he was seen and heard yelling obscenities in the student union on Tuesday. Then late Friday night, Florida State's president and athletic director announced Winston will sit for the entire game.
Backup quarterback Sean Maguire will start for Florida State in place of Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy last season but is developing a reputation for making some poor choices off the field. Last April, Winston was caught shoplifting crab legs and crawfish from a Tallahassee, Florida, grocery store. In December of 2012, Winston was accused of sexual assault by a woman, but no formal charges were brought against him.
Maguire, Winston, and the FSU offense will run into the NCAA's sixth-ranked defense in the Tigers, who allow just over 250 yards gained per game. Clemson has had two weeks to prepare for this Atlantic Coast Conference matchup, following a loss to Georgia and a win over South Carolina State.
You can watch Florida State play Clemson at 8 p.m. Eastern Saturday on ABC.
Other games of note on this fourth weekend of the college football season: No. 2 Oregon finally goes on the road this season and meets Washington State in Pullman, Wash. The Ducks are 3-0 so far, but their pass defense will be tested Saturday by their Pac-12 conference rival. The Cougars have the number one pass offense in the NCAA FBS division, averaging over 517 yards per contest. Washington State is coached by Mike Leach, whose former Texas Tech teams routinely threw the ball all over the field.
Washington State might need to throw and score a lot Saturday night, as Oregon has averaged 52 points per game so far this season.
Oregon vs. Washington State will be televised by ESPN at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday.
No. 3 Alabama also has a conference game scheduled for their home field, taking on Florida. This game could be dominated by the two defensive squads. The Crimson Tide has allowed almost 12 points per game over their first three games, all wins. The Gators have averaged just 15 points allowed in two victories, including an overtime win against SEC foe Kentucky last Saturday.
You can watch Alabama and Florida square off Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.
Fourth-ranked Oklahoma also hits the road this weekend, traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia, to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Sooners are undefeated, heading into Big-12 conference play. West Virginia is 2-1, with an offense that can be productive, yardage-wise. Senior quarterback Clint Trickett averages over 300 yards passing per game, and threw for over 500 yards last Saturday versus Maryland, according to NCAA.com.
Oklahoma-West Virginia will be broadcast on Fox, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Two other games that could be worth tuning into Saturday evening include eighth-ranked LSU hosting Mississippi State at 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN and No. 24 Nebraska playing Miami of Florida. These two schools played for both the 1983 and 1994 national championships. Miami won it in the 1984 Orange Bowl, while Nebraska took home the title following the 1995 Orange Bowl. You can watch the Hurricanes and Cornhuskers at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this article.