ARLINGTON, Texas — Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State opened defense of its national title with a 37-31 victory Saturday night over Oklahoma State on the same field where this season’s champion will be crowned.
Winston wasn’t nearly as efficient as he was in the college debut that jump-started his Heisman Trophy season a year ago, but made plays when he had to as the Seminoles tied a school record with their 17th straight victory.
The Cowboys were 19-point underdogs in the $1.2 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys 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.
Winston’s only passing touchdown was a 50-yarder to Rashad Greene, who had 203 yards receiving.
NO. 2 ALABAMA 33, WEST VIRGINIA 23
ATLANTA — Blake Sims was good enough in his first start at quarterback for Alabama, getting plenty of help from Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry.
Sims was 24 for 33 for 250 yards and added 42 running, playing every meaningful series. The fifth-year senior beat out Florida State transfer Jake Coker for the start.
Yeldon (126 yards rushing and two touchdowns), Henry (113 yards rushing and a score) and Cooper (12 catches for 130 yards) provided plenty of support. Alabama needed all the offense it could get because West Virginia found plenty of soft spots in the Tide’s D.
The Mountaineers’ up-tempo spread gave Clint Trickett his pick of open receivers, and he took advantage with 365 yards passing.
NO. 3 OREGON 62, SOUTH DAKOTA 13
EUGENE, Ore. — Marcus Mariota threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns and ran for one more score for Oregon before sitting out the second half.
Running back Byron Marshall was Oregon’s top receiver with eight catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Royce Freeman, a five-star recruit out of Imperial, California, ran for 75 yards and two more scores.
The Ducks have won 10 straight home openers.
Mariota’s 62-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Stanford on Oregon’s first series of the game gave him the Ducks’ career record for touchdowns with 79 (64 pass, 14 rush and one reception), surpassing Joey Harrington.
NO. 4 OKLAHOMA 48, LOUISIANA TECH 16
NORMAN, Okla. — Trevor Knight threw for 253 yards and a touchdown and Keith Ford had 116 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns for Oklahoma.
Ford ran for 51 yards and caught four passes for 65 yards for the Sooners, who rolled to a 31-0 lead in the second quarter in the opener for both teams. Samaje Perine ran for 77 yards and a touchdown and Alex Ross ran for rushed two scores.
Zack Sanchez led Oklahoma’s defense with an interception and a blocked field goal. Oklahoma linebacker Jordan Evans was ejected in the second quarter for targeting when he tried to make a play against quarterback Cody Sokol.
Sokol, an Iowa transfer in his first career start, threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
NO. 5 OHIO STATE 34, NAVY 17
BALTIMORE — Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns in his college debut, and Ohio State got its 25th consecutive regular-season victory.
Elevated into a starting role after senior Braxton Miller injured his right shoulder on Aug. 18, Barrett went 12 for 15 — including an 80-yard TD pass to Devin Smith that put the Buckeyes up 20-14 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
Ohio State won despite allowing Navy to gain 370 yards on the ground, including 118 by Ryan Williams-Jenkins.
Barrett became the second freshman since 1950 to start an opener at quarterback for Ohio State. He ran nine times for 50 yards, did not throw downfield often and relied heavily on a ground game that finally wore down the Midshipmen in the fourth quarter.
NO. 6 AUBURN 45, ARKANSAS 21
AUBURN, Ala. — Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Nick Marshall returned from suspension with a 19-yard scoring run for Auburn.
The Tigers scored the final 24 points after the Razorbacks managed to force a halftime deadlock. The game was delayed 1 hour, 28 minutes due to lightning in the fourth quarter.
Marshall, who led Auburn to the SEC title last season and the national championship game, started the second half after serving his punishment for getting ticketed in July for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Junior college transfer D’haquille Williams supplied the most electrifying performance with nine catches for 154 yards in his debut, including a 62-yard bomb and an 18-yard touchdown from Johnson.
Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for a career-high 177 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries after replacing Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason. Jermaine Whitehead returned an interception off Brandon Allen 33 yards for a touchdown.
NO. 7 UCLA 28, VIRGINIA 20
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — UCLA scored three defensive touchdowns before Brett Hundley led the Bruins on a critical second-half scoring drive.
Hundley was harassed all day by Virginia’s pressure defense, and made the biggest play of the day for UCLA with his feet. It came on a 6-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter when he overpowered safety Quin Blanding on a 6-yard TD run.
The Cavaliers, 21-point underdogs, trailed 28-20 and had a first down at the 19 late in the game, but three consecutive running plays netted just 2 yards, and linebacker Myles Jack disrupted Matt Johns’ fourth-and-8 pass to Doni Dowling and it fell to the ground.
NO. 11 STANFORD 45, UC DAVIS 0
STANFORD, Calif. — Ty Montgomery returned his first career punt for a touchdown and caught five passes for 77 yards and another score for Stanford..
The All-America kick returner, who was cleared by team doctors to play earlier this week after offseason surgery on his right shoulder, looked ready to be the Cardinal’s do-it-all playmaker again. He ran his first punt back 60 yards for a TD and lined up all over the field, including once as a wildcat quarterback.
Stanford led 38-0 at the half and rested most of its starters the final two quarters.
Kevin Hogan threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns to help the two-time defending Pac-12 champions get off to a mostly smooth start. He completed 12 of 16 passes and had one interception.
NO. 12 GEORGIA 45, NO. 16 CLEMSON 21
ATHENS, Ga. — Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score for Georgia.
If rating Heisman Trophy favorites after Week 1, Gurley would surely be among the favorites. He made the most of his limited touches on a sweltering night between the hedges, averaging 17.2 yards every time he got his hands on the ball. He set a school record for all-purpose yards with 293, breaking the record of 290 set by Rodney Hampton in 1987.
Georgia broke open a game that was tied 21-all at halftime, shutting down Clemson and a fast-break offense that didn’t look nearly as effective without record-setting quarterback Tajh Boyd and star receiver Sammy Watkins.
Hutson Mason turned in a nondescript performance in the first game of his only full season as Georgia’s starting quarterback.
NO. 13 LSU 28, NO. 14 WISCONSIN 24
HOUSTON — Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap LSU’s fourth-quarter rally against Wisconsin at NRG Stadium.
The Tigers trailed 24-21 when Jalen Mills intercepted Tanner McEvoy’s pass at the LSU 47 with 11:04 left. Hilliard ran for 53 yards on the ensuing drive, capping it with a sprint through a hole on the right side.
The Tigers extended the nation’s longest regular-season nonconference winning streak to 46 games after coming back from a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Badgers seemed to have the game in hand after Corey Clement scored in the third quarter. Colby Delahoussaye kicked two field goals and Anthony Jennings threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to John Diarse to start LSU’s rally. Jennings hit Trey Quinn for a 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to three.
NO. 15 USC 52, FRESNO STATE 13
LOS ANGELES — Cody Kessler threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns and Southern California ended a trying week with victory in Steve Sarkisian’s debut as the Trojans’ coach.
The Trojans ran a school- and Pac-12 record 105 plays while racking up 37 first downs and 702 yards of total offense to Fresno State’s 16 first downs and 315 yards.
In all, 10 Trojans caught passes in Sarkisian’s up-tempo offense.
For USC, the victory comes at the end of a distracting week for Sarkisian, punctuated by a tale of heroism by suspended defensive captain Josh Shaw that turned out to be a lie. Backup running back Anthony Brown also quit the team and called Sarkisian a racist, an allegation the coach and other players vehemently denied.
No. 17 NOTRE DAME 48, RICE 17
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Everett Golson threw touchdown passes of 75 and 53 yards and ran for three more scores in his return after missing the 2013 season for academic impropriety.
Golson was 14-of-22 passing for 295 yards and ran for 41 yards on 12 carries. He also had two near-misses on long pass attempts. He scored on an 11-yard run on a planned keeper, a 14-yard scramble and a 4-yard run on a blown handoff.
The Irish opened the season without five players who are scheduled to appear before the school’s honor code committee after being investigated for possible cheating. It was the sixth straight season-opening loss for the Owls.
NO. 20 KANSAS STATE 55, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 16
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Jake Waters threw for 223 yards and accounted for four touchdowns and Charles Jones ran for a pair of scores for Kansas State.
Waters threw touchdown passes to Tyler Lockett and Kody Cook while also running for two TDs as the Wildcats improved to 21-2 in season openers under longtime coach Bill Snyder.
The road is about to get tougher. Kansas State travels to Iowa State to open Big 12 play next weekend. Then comes a statement game against sixth-ranked Auburn at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
NO. 22 NEBRASKA 55, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 7
LINCOLN, Neb. — Ameer Abdullah ran for a career-high 232 yards and Tommy Armstrong Jr. passed for a career-high 271 yards and two TDs.
The Cornhuskers rushed for 498 of their 784 total yards and won their 29th straight opener, the longest streak in the nation.
Abdullah had 178 yards by halftime while becoming the eighth Nebraska player to go over 3,000 yards rushing in a career. Terrell Newby added 107 yards rushing.
Florida Atlantic, with first-year coach Charlie Partridge, was paid $1 million to visit Lincoln and will get another $1 million for playing at No. 2 Alabama next week.
NO. 23 NORTH CAROLINA 56, LIBERTY 29
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Marquise Williams accounted for four touchdowns, and Jeff Schoettmer returned an interception for a score in North Carolina’s game-turning flurry.
Schoettmer’s 19-yard return came during a run of four touchdowns in fewer than 4 minutes that jolted the Tar Heels out of a sluggish and mistake-prone performance.
Liberty led 22-21 with about 6 minutes left in the third quarter before Williams found Mack Hollins for a 33-yard scoring pass. Williams later scored on a 15-yard keeper and backup Mitch Trubisky followed with his first career TD pass for a 49-22 lead with 2:06 left in the quarter.
NO. 24 MISSOURI 38, SOUTH DAKOTA ST 18
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Maty Mauk threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns for Missouri
Mauk seemed at ease early, finding receiver Darius White crossing behind the Jackrabbits’ defense for a 44-yard touchdown pass just 50 seconds into the game. The Tigers extended their lead to 21-10 at halftime.
Zach Zenner rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries for South Dakota State which fell to 0-7 against FBS teams since moving to Division I in 2004.