Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FSU's Benjamin proves unstoppable against Gators

GAINESVILLE — With Florida's standout secondary expected to play man-to-man coverage on Florida State's receivers, Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston called out receiver Kelvin Benjamin a few days before the game.

"If you go out there and do what you've got to do, you will be unstoppable," Winston said, "and no one will be able to cover you."

On Saturday, no one could.

Benjamin set career highs in catches (nine), receiving yards (212) and touchdowns (three). He single-handedly outgained the Gators offense by 19 yards and was FSU's first 200-yard receiver since Craphonso Thorpe lit up Notre Dame for 217 a decade ago.

"He can be a very, very special player," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "And he's starting to really develop into that guy."

Benjamin showed his blend of size, speed and power on a highlight-reel touchdown catch that changed the game.

With FSU leading 3-0 but struggling offensively midway through the second quarter, Benjamin caught a slant. The 6-foot-5, 234-pound redshirt sophomore quickly broke two tackles, including one by defensive back Brian Poole.

Following the advice he got last week from running backs coach Jay Graham — to keep his feet moving — Benjamin dashed up the middle, spun off one defender and broke another tackle.

"I just finished from there," he said.

His 45-yard touchdown catch gave FSU a 10-0 lead. Benjamin and the Seminoles were just getting started.

Benjamin added two more touchdown catches: He torched cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy for a 29-yarder in the closing minute of the first half, and snagged a 4-yard fade in the fourth quarter. He also caught a 56-yard pass from Winston that set up Devonta Freeman's 11-yard touchdown run.

"Once you get him on fire," FSU defensive end Mario Edwards said, "he's hard to stop."

Benjamin's breakout game was even more impressive considering the opponent: Purifoy and the Gators entered with the country's No. 3 passing defense. Florida hadn't allowed a receiver to get more than 150 yards in a game in more than two years.

"He's a big target," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "He's hard to defend."

The Gators found that out repeatedly.

Matt Baker can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.

FSU's Benjamin proves unstoppable against Gators 11/30/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 30, 2013 10:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs safety Chris Conte became a father during Sunday's loss at Arizona

    Bucs

    Chris Conte attempts to tackle Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. [AP photo]
  2. Time to break out the Bucs fan's emergency kit?

    Bucs

    A fan in a throwback jersey waits for the start of a game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
  3. Lightning approaches decision time for Mikhail Sergachev

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev had dinner with his host family from juniors Monday.

    The Lightning has to decide, as early as this weekend whether Mikhail Sergachev will stick in the NHL or return to juniors for another season. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  4. Quarterbacks, head coach targeting Vernon Hargreaves; 'I'm not producing,' he says

    Bucs

    Eli Manning gathered his receivers together during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and informed them of the weakest link of the secondary he planned to target that afternoon.

    Quarterbacks this season have a 128.7 rating when targeting Vernon Hargreaves. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. J.T. Brown won't raise fist, but plans to do more in community

    Blogs

    Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer be raising his first as a silent protest during the national anthem.

    J.T. Brown plans to do more in the community to create awareness and understanding for key issues of police brutality and racial inequality.