(1) Florida St 37


Coverage: ABC

8:00 PM ET, August 30, 2014

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

1 2 3 4 T
#1FSU 10 7 10 1037
OKST 0 10 7 1431

Top Performers

Passing: J. Winston (FSU) - 370 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: J. Walsh (OKST) - 11 CAR, 51 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Greene (FSU) - 11 REC, 203 YDS, 1 TD

Jameis Winston, Seminoles hold off upstart Oklahoma State in opener

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jameis Winston and No. 1 Florida State might have to play better for a return trip to the stadium where the next national title will be decided.

At least the reigning champion Seminoles didn't leave the $1.2 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys with a season-opening loss.

Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run to smooth over some rough spots, and Florida State tied a school record with its 17th straight victory by holding off Oklahoma State 37-31 on Saturday night.

"We've got to get better," Winston said. "I told our guys ... we've got to go higher."

The sophomore quarterback wasn't nearly as efficient as he was in the college debut that jump-started his Heisman Trophy season a year ago. But he made plays when it mattered to help the Seminoles hang on after almost squandering a 17-0 lead.

The unranked and rebuilding Cowboys were 19-point underdogs but stayed close when J.W. Walsh matched Winston's scoring run with a 24-yard sprint and dive across the goal line to get within 27-24 early in the fourth quarter.

"You don't ever know what to expect with so many young players on the field," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, whose offense only has two players with at least 10 career starts. "But we never saw any fear in any of their eyes."

Winston's only passing touchdown was a 50-yarder to Rashad Greene, who had 203 yards receiving.

The scoring pass, which gave Florida State a 37-24 lead, was set up when P.J. Williams sent Walsh cart-wheeling to the turf on a hit that forced a fumble. Williams recovered the loose ball.

"We all preached it, but I do think they felt the pressure of being No. 1. I do," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Now I think we can relax and go play football."

Walsh, who had 203 yards passing and led his team with 51 yards rushing, got the unranked and rebuilding Cowboys within six in the final 2 minutes on his second TD run, but they couldn't get the ball back.

The Seminoles were up three in the third quarter when Winston broke loose for the longest run of his career. He hurdled offensive lineman Cameron Erving at the 10 and sidestepped a defender at the 5 before diving across the goal line as the ball was falling out of his arms.

The score was reviewed, and Oklahoma State players celebrated on the sideline when the giant video board showed the ball coming out near the goal line.

Seconds later referee Land Clark of the Pac-12 announced that the touchdown was upheld, drawing loud reactions from both sides of a crowd split pretty evenly between Florida State's dark red and Oklahoma State's bright orange.

"We just needed a play," Winston said. "Everybody contributed on that play. A 300-pound lineman, when he cuts a linebacker all the way down the field, which was amazing, I had no choice but to put the ball in the end zone."

Winston was 25 of 40 with two interceptions and several other misfires a year after throwing just two incompletions to beat Pitt in his debut. Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah gave Winston the most trouble, getting two sacks and breaking up two passes.

"We're still a work in progress," Fisher said. "We all know that. "We have some good players but we still have to play good. It's not about being great; it's about playing great."

Speedy Oklahoma State newcomer Tyreek Hill 106 combined yards rushing and receiving. He was a perfect decoy on a 55-yard scoring pass to David Glidden, who was uncovered and ran untouched after catching the ball at the 30 to make it 20-17.

"We know he's fast," Gundy said. "We confirmed that. Because those guys who were chasing him are fast."

Hill recovered from a botched kickoff return that stranded the Cowboys at their 3-yard line and led to Nate Andrews' 9-yard interception return for the game's first touchdown.

Oklahoma State also had trouble on punts, with a bad snap leading to the drive that ended in Winston's scoring run. Another poor snap in the fourth quarter gave Florida State good field position, and Robert Aguayo's third field goal put the Seminoles up by six.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2322
Total Yards476364
3rd Down Conversions4-148-16
4th Down Conversions0-10-1

Passing Leaders

Jameis Winston25/403709.312
J.W. Walsh15/272037.511

Rushing Leaders

Karlos Williams23662.9014
Mario Pender33110.3111
J.W. Walsh11514.6224
Rennie Childs10474.7019

Receiving Leaders

Rashad Greene1120318.5151
Christian Green27336.5062
David Glidden27437.0155
Tyreek Hill66210.3022

Scoring Summary

FG8:51Roberto Aguayo 36 Yd Field Goal Watch Highlight 30
TD8:37Nate Andrews 9 Yd Interception Return (Roberto Aguayo Kick)Watch Highlight 100
TD8:19Mario Pender 11 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)Watch Highlight 170
TD3:58Desmond Roland 1 Yd Run (Ben Grogan Kick)Watch Highlight 177
FG0:00Ben Grogan 37 Yd Field Goal Watch Highlight 1710
FG11:50Roberto Aguayo 27 Yd Field Goal Watch Highlight 2010
TD10:45David Glidden 55 Yd pass from J.W. Walsh (Ben Grogan Kick)Watch Highlight 2017
TD5:26Jameis Winston 28 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)Watch Highlight 2717
TD11:51J.W. Walsh 24 Yd Run (Ben Grogan Kick)Watch Highlight 2724
FG5:13Roberto Aguayo 37 Yd Field Goal Watch Highlight 3024
TD3:58Rashad Greene 50 Yd pass from Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo Kick)Watch Highlight 3724
TD1:55J.W. Walsh 3 Yd Run (Ben Grogan Kick)Watch Highlight 3731

Research Notes

Jameis Winston's 2nd quarter interception was his first career red-zone interception. Last year, Winston had a 94.9 Total QBR with 21 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the red zone.
With the loss of Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw, Jameis Winston targeted Rashad Greene 20 times, Greene's career high.

- Greene averaged 8 targets and 81 receiving yards last season.
No team was within 3 points of Florida State after halftime in any regular season game last year. Saturday, Florida State ran 18 plays with the game within 3 points.
Florida State mustered 106 rush yards Saturday against Oklahoma State, their second-lowest output since the beginning of last season.

With the loss of Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr., the Seminoles turned to Karlos Williams as their feature back. However, he was contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage on more than half of his rushes (52 percent). He was hit at or behind the line on 22 rushes last season (24 percent).
Jameis Winston is just the 14th Heisman Trophy winner to return for the following season; however, it's even MORE rare to have a winner return who was as dominant as Winston was last year. He will be the fourth Heisman winner to play the season after at least doubling-up the 2nd place finisher. Archie Griffin, the last to do so, became the only two-time winner while Roger Staubach and Vic Janowicz didn't figure into the voting.
After rolling through the 2013 regular season, Florida State struggled to close out Oklahoma State in the opener.
This was the closest call in a season opener by a preseason number 1 in over two decades. The last preseason AP No. 1 to lose a season opener was Miami in 1990. Until tonight, every preseason No. 1 won its season opener by more than two touchdowns.

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