The 2014 college football season’s first full weekend kicked off with a full slate of games led by No. 1-ranked Florida State, which managed to get by a pesky Oklahoma State, 37-31. Winston completed 25-of-40 passes for 370 yards and a touchdown.
It was Winston’s legs that sparked the Seminoles in the second half. Holding a slim 20-17 lead, Winston weaved his way through the Cowboys’ defense for a 28-yard TD run to give FSU a ten-point lead. When Winston hit WR Rashad Greene with a 50-yard TD pass with 3:58 to play in the game, the Seminoles were up by 13 on their way to their first win of the season.
Oklahoma State QB J.W. Walsh kept the Cowboys in the game completing 15-of-27 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown and adding 51 yards rushing and two more scores on 11 carries.
Second-ranked Alabama didn’t surprise anyone with a 33-23 win over West Virginia, but Tide head coach Nick Saban surprised the nation by starting Blake Sims over highly touted transfer Jacob Coker. Sims played well completing 24-of-33 passes for 250 yards, but it was the ground game of Alabama that dominated the Mountaineers.
Both T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry rushed for over 100 yards. Yeldon had 126 yards on 23 carries. He scored twice. Henry rushed 17 times for 113 yards and a 19-yard TD run in the third quarter to put Alabama up by 10.
Two of the weekend’s better games featured ranked opponents. Todd Gurley turned in a monster performance as Georgia got the best of rival Clemson in a 45-21 rout. Gurley rushed 15 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns and also returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score. The teams were tied at 21-21 at the half, but two fourth-quarter TDs by Gurley blew the game open.
No. 13 LSU scored 15 fourth-quarter points to defeat 14th-ranked Wisconsin at NRG Stadium in Houston, Tex. Badgers running back Melvin Gordon started the second half with a 63-yard run that led to a 2-yard TD run by Corey Clement. The score put Wisconsin up 24-7. The Badgers would not score again.
Tigers RB Kenny Hilliard, who finished with 110 yards on 18 carries, scored on a 28-yard run with 9:41 to play to put LSU ahead for good. QB Anthony Jennings threw a 36-yard TD pass to John Diarse to pull LSU to within 24-21. Gordon rushed for 140 yards on 16 carries for Wisconsin.