Florida State held on to avoid an upset bid from Clemson, winning 23-17 in overtime with Jameis Winston watching from the bench.
Winston was benched for an incident on campus earlier in the week in which he stood on a table and yelled a sexual obscenity. Backup Sean Maguire filled in, throwing for 305 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions.
But it was Karlos Williams who sealed the game with a 12-yard run in overtime, ending Clemson’s upset bid.
Clemson faced a 4th-and-1 on its first possession in overtime, but was stuffed on a run off tackle, turning the ball over to the Seminoles.
The game was generating headlines even days before the kickoff. After Winston’s on-campus incident, Florida State initially announced that he would be benched for the first half but later upped the punishment to the entire game. Instead they called on Maguire, who had limited playing time during some of the Seminoles’ blowout wins last year.
Sean Maguire said he relished the opportunity he was given.
“It’s going to be pretty awesome, I’d like to imagine,” Maguire said. “I’ve pictured this since I started playing little league ball, to be given an opportunity like this.”
Florida State jumped to an early 3-0 lead behind a 50-yard field goal from Roberto Aguayo, but Clemson came back with 10 points in the second quarter to take a 10-3 halftime lead.
Florida State would tie it at 10 in the third quarter with a Mario Pender touchdown run, but Clemson regained the lead in the fourth quarter after Deshaun Watson scored on a two-yard touchdown run. But Maguire answered with a 74-yard touchdown throw to Rashad Greene, who took advantage when a Clemson defender fell.
With the win, Florida State will be able to hold onto its No. 1 overall national ranking, and will have Jameis Winston back next week against North Carolina State.