ARLINGTON, Texas — Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a 28-yard run as No. 1 Florida State held off Oklahoma State 37-31 to begin defending its national title Saturday.
"As a team, we're a work in progress," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We have good players, but we have to play good. It's not about being great. It's about playing great.
"They felt the pressure of being No. 1. I think we can relax now and go play football."
Playing on the same field where this season'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.
Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh matched Winston's scoring run with a 24-yard sprint and dive across the goal line to get them within 27-24 just 3:09 into the fourth quarter.
Winston's only passing touchdown was a 50-yarder to Rashad Greene, who had 203 yards receiving.
The scoring pass, which gave FSU a 37-24 lead with 3:58 left, was set up when cornerback P.J. Williams sent Walsh cart-wheeling to the turf on a hit that forced a fumble. Williams also recovered the ball.
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 two minutes on his second touchdown run. But they couldn't get the ball back on the ensuing series, which including a penalty for defensive holding.
"We lost momentum in the game," Fisher said. "But we kept fighting and scratching and clawing."
The Seminoles were up three in the third quarter when Winston broke loose for the longest scoring 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 fell out of his arms.
Winston, a redshirt sophomore, was 25-of-40 with two interceptions a year after throwing just two incompletions to beat Pitt in his college debut.