Jameis Winston made history on New Year’s Day. He lost.
“We just got beat,” the red-shirt sophomore explained of his first defeat as Florida State’s quarterback. “We turned the ball over too many times.”
And Winston acknowledged that one of those turnovers, an awkward fourth-down fumble returned by Oregon for a touchdown in the third quarter, will likely end up eliciting a “C’mon, man” on ESPN.
“I was just trying to make a play,” Winston, at times laughing at himself, told reporters after the game. “I should have got the ball out of my hands earlier. It was just an unfortunate play, man. I never thought that I would slip, throw the ball backwards. Man, it’s just a very unfortunate play. But that’s football.”
MANTI TE'O's girlfriend with her first career sack!! pic.twitter.com/5X7sUuDuRK
— HENNI™ (@Hennigan_again) January 2, 2015
The 59-20 drubbing sends the Oregon Ducks to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to play Ohio State for the national championship that Jameis Winston and his Seminoles teammates won last year.
Despite the loss, and the bad publicity stemming from a rape accusation, a citation for theft of crab legs, a game suspension for shouting a vulgar catchphrase, and myriad wild, unproven allegations ranging from autograph sales to point shaving, Winston expressed gratitude for his experiences in Tallahassee.
“Everything I’ve been through, everything that I’ve experienced has just made me a better person, especially, I’m so happy I came to Florida State,” the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner noted. “I’ve got a coach that loves me. I’ve got teammates that love me.”
Winston, who has until January 15 to declare for the NFL draft, refused to lock the door on a return to Tallahassee.
“I’m not focused on that at all,” Winston said of his future before focusing on his future, saying, “I’m looking forward to next season and playing baseball. I’m just trying to get better every day.”