Saints’ Jameis Winston Says No. 8 Florida State Will ‘Put A Whooping’ On No. 5 LSU Sunday

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NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston did not endear himself to LSU fans on Sunday night.

His alma mater Florida State plays LSU Sunday night (7:30 p.m., ABC) in Orlando, Florida, in the season opener for both teams. It is the game of the year so far in college football as it is the first top 10 matchup of the season. Winston’s Seminoles are ranked No. 8, and the Tigers are at No. 5. LSU is a 2.5-point favorite.

“I can’t really express how much excitement that I have for Jordan Travis and Trey Benson to go out and put a whoopin’ on some of these Tigers,” Winston said after the Saints lost to Houston, 17-13, in the NFL preseason finale at the Superdome.

Florida State Won National Title With Jameis Winston

Winston led Florida State to the national championship in the 2013 season under coach Jimbo Fisher and won the Heisman Trophy. The Seminoles beat Auburn in the title game to finish 14-0. Travis is Florida State’s senior quarterback who threw for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Trey Benson is the Seminoles’ junior running back who gained 990 yards last season.

Saints’ quarterback Jameis Winston at Florida State with coach Jimbo Fisher (Getty Images).

“I can’t say that publicly because I don’t know who’s listening,” Winston said publicly and smiled as laughter broke. He was at the podium outside the Saints locker room during the postgame press conference.

Asked if any bets had been placed on the game as the Saints do have four former Tigers on their roster, Winston said no.

“No one really want to place any wagers on this game,” he said. “We’re just going to keep everything focused and prepare for Tennessee.”

The Saints open the regular season on Sept. 10 in the dome against the Titans (1 p.m., CBS).

But Winston couldn’t resist another shot.

Winston Says Seminoles Will ‘Smoke’ LSU

“However,” he said smiling. “They really don’t want no smoke.”

The Seminoles beat LSU, 24-23, in the Superdome to open the 2022 season and went on to a 10-3 season under third-year coach Mike Norvell. That was his first winning season and Florida State’s best campaign since Fisher went 10-3 in 2016 for his fifth straight double-digit victory season. Fisher was LSU’s offensive coordinator under coach Nick Saban when the Tigers won the national championship on Jan. 4, 2004, in the Superdome.

Winston watched Florida State’s win over LSU last year from the sidelines.

“It was tremendous being there,” he said. “I was really happy because it was really a home-field game for the Tigers.”

LSU is just 87 miles away from New Orleans.

“Purple’s my favorite color, so I root for LSU when they’re not playing against Florida State,” Winston said.

He is outnumbered on the Saints. Former LSU players include safety Tyrann Mathieu, tight end Foster Moreau, running back Darrel Williams and wide receiver Jontre Kirklin.

Saints Kept Winston As Backup

Winston will enter the 2023 season as new addition Derek Carr’s backup. He is in his fourth year with the Saints after starting for five seasons at Tampa Bay, which drafted him with the first pick of the 2015 draft. Winston opened the 2021 season as New Orleans’ starter after Drew Brees’ retirement, but an injury against Tampa Bay on Halloween ended his season seven games in.

He completed 11 of 16 passes for 93 yards with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham on Sunday. Graham did not speak to reporters after the game in light of his arrest last week in the Los Angeles area.


Winston played well in a 22-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on the road last week, completing 13 of 21 for 169 yards. He hit 11 of 13 for 92 yards with a 29-yard touchdown in a 26-24 win over Kansas City in the first week of preseason.

“This was my best camp of my career,” he said. “Just the numbers. High completion percentage (.700). Accurate throws, 100 percent decisions. So, that’s what made it my best camp.”

Others, though, say it was not a great camp for Winston. Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, who is an analyst on the Saints radio network, has criticized Winston’s accuracy and consistency at practice. Winston was talking about the games, though.

“I’m just ready for every chance to go out there and take advantage of opportunities,” he said.

After a possible trip to Orlando, Sunday, that is.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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