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.
The scoring pass, which gave Florida State a 37-24 lead, was set up when P.J. Williams sent Walsh cartwheeling to the turf on a hit that forced a fumble. Williams recovered the loose 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 2 minutes on his second touchdown run, but they couldn't get the ball back.
Winston was 25 for 40 with two passes intercepted 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.