Winston, ‘Noles start title defense with win

Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards - 203 of which went to Rashad Greene - in Associated Press No. 1 Florida State’s 37-31 victory over Oklahoma State Saturday in Arlington.

Winston, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, led the national champion Seminoles (1-0) to their school-record-tying 17th consecutive victory, though it wasn’t easy. Oklahoma State (0-1), playing against an ACC school for the first time in its history, got to within 27-24 and 37-31 on fourth-quarter touchdown runs by J.W. Walsh.

Greene caught a 50-yard touchdown from Winston with just under four minutes left that made it a 37-24 game. That was one of 15 plays of 10 or more yards for Florida State, which included a 51-yard hook up between Winston and Greene that set up Mario Pender’s 11-yard scoring run in the second quarter and made it 17-0.

Walsh also threw for 203 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys, who won all four games they played in the state of Texas a year ago.

Here’s a look at the rest of the ACC and SEC action from Saturday.

No. 2 Alabama 33, West Virginia 23

The Crimson Tide racked up 538 total yards to win their season opener at the Georgia Dome.

West Virginia (0-1), which lost for the fourth straight time to an SEC team, pulled even when Mario Alford had a 100-yard kickoff return, shaking the tackle attempt of Jabriel Washington at the 14-yard line, then out-running the remainder of the Alabama kickoff team to make it 17-17 with under two minutes to play in the first half.

That was as close as the Mountaineers got as a 41-yard field goal by Adam Griffith in the final seconds of the half made it 20-17, then Derrick Henry capped a six-play, 1:50 drive at the start of the third with a 19-yard scoring run that put the Tide up 27-17.

Henry (113 yards) and T.J. Yeldon (126 yards and two touchdowns) were a big reason why Alabama (1-0) had 288 yards on the ground and averaged six yards per carry.

No. 6 Auburn 45, Arkansas 21

The first half was a draw, but the second half belonged to the host Tigers.

Auburn (1-0), trying to return to the national championship game, snapped a 21-21 tie with 24 unanswered points in the second half, highlighted by a Nick Marshall 19-yard touchdown run and Jermaine Whitehead’s 33-yard interception return for a score in the third quarter.

A year after being limited to five yards on two carries against the Razorbacks, Cameron Artis-Payne had a career-high 177 rushing yards and a touchdown Saturday.

No. 7 UCLA 28, Virginia 20

The Bruins had three defensive touchdowns and hung on in just their second game ever against an ACC school.

UCLA built a 21-3 lead, thanks to Ishmael Adams (20-yard interception return), Randall Goforth (75-yard fumble return for a score) and Eric Kendricks (37-yard interception return), which all came in the second quarter.

Virginia (0-1), which dropped to 0-5 all-time against the Pac 12, climbed back into the game, starting with Matt Johns’ 29-yard touchdown toss to Andre Levrone with less than a minute to go in the opening half.

Johns hooked up with Darius Jennings for a 23-yard score midway through the third and it was 21-17. But Brett Hundley scored on a six-yard run with about a minute to go in the third and the visiting Bruins had some breathing room.

No. 13 LSU 28, No. 14 Wisconsin 24

The Tigers erased a 17-point, second-half deficit with 21 unanswered points to win in Death Valley.

Wisconsin (0-1) led 24-7 after Corey Clement’s two-yard scoring run early in the third. LSU (1-0) got started on its comeback with a pair of third quarter field goals by Colby Delahoussaye from 30 and 47 yards out.

In the fourth, Anthony Jennings hit John Diarse for a 36-yard touchdown, then Jennings found Trey Quinn for the two-point conversion to make it a 24-21 game. With 9:41 left in the contest, Kenny Hilliard scored from 28 yards to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

Melvin Gordon had 140 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Badgers, who lost their fourth straight road opener.

No. 23 North Carolina 56, Liberty 29

The Tar Heels trailed by a point early in the third quarter, but scored 28 unanswered points to pull away from the visitors from the Big South Conference.

Liberty, which was playing a nationally-ranked FBS team for the first time in its history, grabbed a 22-21 lead when Jacob Hagen returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown with 9:25 left in the third.

The rest of the day belonged to North Carolina (1-0) as Mack Hollins took a quick pass from Marquise Williams and sprinted down the sideline for a 33-yard touchdown, then Jeff Schoettmer returned an interception - one of six Liberty (0-1) turnovers - 19 yards for another score and a 35-22 lead.

Williams had two passing touchdowns and added two scores on the ground for the Tar Heels, who won their fourth straight home opener.

No. 24 Missouri 38, South Dakota State 13

Marcus Murphy returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to help the defending SEC East champion Tigers win their 13th consecutive season opener.

Missouri (1-0), which after going 12-2 a year ago is hoping for consecutive double-digit win seasons for just the second time in school history, held a slim, 21-18 lead four and a half minutes into the third after South Dakota State’s Zach Zenner picked up his second touchdown run from three yards.

Those were the last points of the day for the Jackrabbits. Murphy took the ensuing kickoff at the goal line and wasn’t touched on his way to putting the host Tigers up 28-18. Early in the fourth, Maty Mauk tossed the last of his three touchdowns to Bud Sasser from 29 yards and it was a 35-18 game.

Pittsburgh 62, Delaware 0

Pittsburgh came into Saturday’s game having lost its last two season openers. Unfortunately for the visiting Blue Hens, that streak didn’t continue.

James Conner rushed for 145 yards and four touchdowns and the Panthers defense held the visitors from the Colonial Athletic Association to just 71 total yards. Conner had a pair of scoring runs in both the first quarter (7, 8) and second (1, 19), part of a 407-yard game on the ground for Pittsburgh (1-0).

Delaware (0-1), which hasn’t beaten an FBS school since a win over Navy in October, 2007, had one of its 15 offensive possessions go for more than 11 yards, while six drives ended in turnovers.

Kentucky 59, UT-Martin 14

Patrick Towles passed for 377 yards, part of a 656-yard day for the Wildcats.

Towles connected with 10 different receivers, while Braylon Heard rushed for 116 yards and a pair of scores and Mikel Horton scored twice as well for Kentucky (1-0).

For UT-Martin (0-1), Jarod Neal had 173 passing yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to Caylon Weathers that made it a 52-14 game late in the fourth quarter.

N.C. State 24, Georgia Southern 23

Matt Dayes’ 35-yard touchdown reception with a minute and a half to play was the difference as the Wolfpack avoided the home upset.

In the first FBS game in program history, Georgia Southern (0-1), led for nearly the entirety, including at 23-17 after a 31-yard field goal by Alex Hanks with three and a half minutes left.

Southern quarterback Kevin Ellison accounted for 300 total yards (184 passing, 116 rushing). For N.C. State (1-0), Jacob Brissett threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns, the last of which was a toss to a wide-open Dayes down the right sideline to give the hosts their first lead of the day.

Mississippi State 49, Southern Miss 0

Dak Prescott threw for 284 yards and four scores, two each to De’Runnya Wilson and Fred Ross as the Bulldogs handed the Golden Eagles their 11th consecutive loss to an SEC team.

Southern Miss (0-1) also was shut out for the first time in 128 games, spanning more than a decade. The Golden Eagles were last kept off the scoreboard in a 17-0 loss to Utah in the Liberty Bowl in December, 2003, according to sports-reference.com.

Boston College 30, Massachusetts 7

Tyler Murphy collected 291 total yards of offense as the Eagles won for the eighth consecutive time in the series.

Murphy’s one-yard touchdown run with about three minutes to play in the third quarter gave Boston College (1-0) a 20-0 lead. The 6-2, 213-pound quarterback added a 43-yard touchdown toss to Josh Bordner in the early stages of the fourth quarter.

Massachusetts, which last beat their in-state rival in November, 1978, snapped the shutout when Tajae Sharpe caught a 77-yard touchdown from Blake Frohnapel with a minute and a half to play in the third. The Minutemen could only muster 202 yards of total offense.

Duke 52, Elon 13

Anthony Boone threw four touchdown passes - two each to Jamison Crowder and Issac Blakeney - and the Blue Devils had no trouble at home.

Duke (1-0), coming off the program’s first winning season since 1994, racked up 567 total yards and held Elon (0-1) without a touchdown until B.J. Bennett picked up two of his 87 rushing yards on a scoring run with 10:23 left in the game.

It was the second consecutive season Elon opened up with a blowout loss to an ACC school. The Phoenix lost at Georgia Tech 70-0 last August.

Virginia Tech 34, William & Mary 9

In his first career start at quarterback, junior Michael Brewer passed for 251 yards and a touchdown as the Hokies won at home.

Virginia Tech (1-0) led just 7-6 before Brewer found Bucky Hodges for an eight-yard touchdown and Joey Siye made field goals of 20 and 27 yards, the last of which came midway through the third and put the Blacksburg, Va. school up 20-6.

John Carpenter hit three field goals, accounting for all of the points for William & Mary (0-1), which lost for the 11th consecutive time in the series.