ARLINGTON, Texas — Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State held off Oklahoma State 37-31 to begin defending its national title.
Playing on the same field where this year’s national 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 he made plays when it mattered.
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.
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No. 13 Louisiana St. 28, No. 14 Wisconsin 24
Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for LSU in a victory over Wisconsin at NRG Stadium in Houston
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.
No. 2 Alabama 33, West Virginia 23
In Atlanta, Blake Sims was good enough to finish his first start at quarterback for Alabama, getting plenty of help from Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, and the second-ranked Crimson Tide held off West Virginia 33-23 Saturday.
Sims was 24 for 33 for 250 yards and had 42 running, playing the entire opener at the Georgia Dome. The fifth-year senior beat out Florida State transfer Jake Coker for the start. Tide coach Nick Saban had suggested both quarterbacks would play, but Sims never came out.
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.
At No. 4 Oklahoma 48, Louisiana Tech 16
Trevor Knight passed for 253 yards and a touchdown and Keith Ford had 116 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns to help Oklahoma defeat Louisiana Tech.
Ford ran for 51 yards and caught four passes for 65 yards.
Zack Sanchez led Oklahoma’s defense with an interception and a blocked field goal.
No. 5 Ohio State 34, Navy 17
In Baltimore, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns in his college debut, and the Buckeyes got their 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.
At No. 6 Auburn 45, Arkansas 21
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 to lift Auburn over Arkansas.
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 area during the fourth quarter.
Marshall, who led Auburn to the SEC title last season and 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.