Florida State survives Oklahoma State in opener

FSU got the victory, but several questions from the preseason were not answered in a positive way.

Toe hit leather at 8:14 EST.

By 8:28 EST, Oklahoma State had run four plays, gained zero yards, and was down 10-0. Florida State's title defense had begun.

At 8:35, the Cowboys had run seven plays for a total of a negative one yard.

Through one quarter, FSU had a 10-0 lead and had outgained Oklahoma State 124-24, and was poised for another score.

It appeared that Florida State would run away with the contest. But that did not happen.

Florida State traded good drives and bad, failing to find consistency.

FSU's best drive of the night came as a big response to one of its worst of the night. On the earlier drive, Jameis Winston misfired in three red-zone attempts, the third of which was both a bad throw and a bad decision, which was intercepted.

Seemingly fired up after some shoving on the sidelines, Florida State came out and marched 94 yards on eight plays, including the throw of the night from Jameis Winston, from one hash to the far sideline on a deep crosser, that went for 51 yards to Rashad Greene, perfectly placed over the trailing defender. Red-shirt sophomore Mario Pender, on his first ever carry for the Seminoles, capped the drive with an 11-yard TD run featuring a great cutback and excellent blocking by the offensive line.

Whether Jameis Winston would trust targets other than Rashad Greene is still an unresolved issue. Far too many times times Winston overlooked much more open, unproven targets, in favor of the Greene, one of which directly resulted in an interception. Not unexpectedly, it looked at times like Florida State missed receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw, both of whom are now in the NFL.

The dropoff in play at defensive tackle, again, an expected change for the team, was also noticeable, as Oklahoma State found success in the middle repeatedly, especially in the second half. Greene finished with 11 catches and 203 yards on the night.

Oklahoma State closed to 20-17 at one point late in the third quarter, but Jameis Winston had an incredible touchdown run to put the Seminoles up 27-17.

But Florida State simply could not hold the double-digit lead.

After going up 27-17, Florida State then allowed the Cowboys to march 75 yards on seven plays to bring the Cowboys within three.

Florida State then faced yet another Oklahoma State drive, but Mario Edwards, Jr., ended it right as it started, with a 14-yard sack of QB J.W. Walsh. Oklahoma State was forced to punt, and FSU kicked a field goal after stalling to go up 30-24.

The next Oklahoma State drive featured a play that was the deciding one of the game, as P.J. Williams upended QB J.W. Walsh as he tried to scramble. Walsh fumbled, and Winston hit, who else, Rashad Greene for the score and go up 37-24. Why Jimbo Fisher didn't go for two is unknown.

But the game was still not over, as Oklahoma State marched 39 yards, after a botched kickoff coverage, to pull within six, 37-31.

Oklahoma State did not get the onside kick, and FSU was able to ice the game.

FSU now faces the Citadel before having a bye week to prepare for Clemson.

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