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(1) Florida State (0-0) vs. Oklahoma State (0-0)



Saturday, August 30, 8 p.m. (ET)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

GAME NOTES: The top-ranked Florida State Seminoles begin defense of their national title, as they open the 2014 season in a showdown with the dangerous Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The stars aligned perfectly for Florida State in 2013, as the team went a perfect 14-0, won the ACC and capped all that off with a thrilling win in the BCS Championship Game over Auburn (34-31) to capture the third national title in school history.

A lot of that success was due to the emergence of quarterback Jameis Winston, who became just the second-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.

The biggest threat in the regular season came from Boston College in late September, a game the Seminoles won 48-34. Two games later, FSU moved to the top of the national title contender list by trouncing then fifth-ranked Clemson in Death Valley (51-14).

Jimbo Fisher's squad closed out a perfect regular season with a dismantling of rival Florida in Gainesville (37-7) and followed that up with a whipping of Duke in the ACC Championship Game (45-7).

In one of the most memorable title games in recent memory, FSU battled back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to earn a dramatic 34-31 victory over the Auburn Tigers with a last minute drive engineered by its Heisman-winning quarterback to capture the BCS crown.

While the Cowboys will definitely have their work cut out for them in the season opener, Oklahoma State is certainly no pushover. Mike Gundy's squad had a chance to win the Big 12 title a year ago thanks to lopsided wins over Texas (38-13) and eventual conference champion Baylor (49-17), but failed to put it away with a regular-season finale loss to rival Oklahoma (33-24).

Still, the team finished the regular season at an impressive 10-2 and earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl opposite Missouri. The Cowboys couldn't keep pace with the explosive Tigers though, falling 41-31 to end the year.

Florida State brings a 16-game win streak into 2014 and has won three of the four all-time meetings with Oklahoma State. These two teams haven't met since 1985.

The FSU offense put up monster numbers in 2013, as the team averaged 51.3 points per game on 519.7 yards per game. The team set an NCAA record with 723 points in 2013. While those numbers may be impossible to match in 2014, seven starters return on offense, including Winston.

The young gunslinger picked up the Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award along with the Heisman last year, as he completed 66.9 percent of his passes, for 4,057 yards and 40 TDs. Star wideout Kelvin Benjamin (54 rec, 1,011 yds, 15 TDs) jumped ship to the NFL, but quality targets remain, including first-team All- ACC wideout Rashad Greene (76 rec, 1,128 yds, eight TDs) and senior tight end Nick O'Leary (33 rec, 557 yds, seven TDs).

Leading rusher Devonta Freeman (1,016 yds, 14 TDs) is gone, but emerging talent Karlos Williams (730 yds, 11 TDs) is poised for a big season after bursting on the scene last year with 8.0 ypc.

There is star power up front as well, highlighted by senior tackles Cameron Irving and Bobby Hart and senior guards Tre' Jackson and Josue Matias.

It wasn't just the offense that posted huge numbers in 2013 for FSU, as the defense was also one of the best in the country. The Seminoles held foes to just 12.1 points per game and a mere 281.4 yards of total offense. The unit also forced 35 turnovers, including 26 interceptions.

Standouts Telvin Smith (90 tackles, three INTs, two sacks), Lamarcus Joyner (69 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three INTs) and Timmy Jernigan (63 tackles, 4.5 sacks) are no longer around, but others will step up and fill the void in 2014, as new defensive coordinator Charles Kelly has plenty to work with.

Expect junior end Mario Edwards (28 tackles, 3.5 sacks) to become a factor. Linebacker Terrance Smith (59 tackles, two sacks, one INT) is the top returning playmaker in the middle after earning All-ACC honorable mention a year ago. The secondary will again be one of the most feared units in the country, highlighted by junior cornerback P.J. Williams (35 tackles, three INTs) and sophomore safety Jalen Ramsey, who earned Freshman All-America honors in 2013.

With everything the team accomplished last year, Fisher is charged with keeping his team grounded in the here and now.

"It's all about what you do now. You have to live in the moment, you have to proceed to the future, learn from our past experiences, and grow from them, and then be hungry enough to go play great football this fall."

Scoring wasn't really a problem for Oklahoma State last year (39.1 ppg). This season, the team will hope for similar results behind junior quarterback J.W. Walsh (6-2, 205), who played to mixed reviews in 2013, completing almost 60 percent of his throws, for 1,333 yards and nine TDs in eight games.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was impressed with Walsh's makeup as the summer camp came to a close.

"J.W. Walsh brings a lot of physicality to the game. He understands the game very well, he has experience and he's a great leader."

He will be aided by a deep receiving corps that features sophomore Jhajuan Seales (39 receptions, 571 yards, 3 TDs) and junior Brandon Sheperd (14 receptions, 223 yards, 1 TD).

The run game will once again feature Desmond Roland. As a junior in 2013, Roland finished with a team-best 881 yards and 13 touchdowns.

It was a mixed bag on defense for OSU a year ago, as the team ranked 79th against the pass overall, but led the Big 12 in scoring defense (21.6 ppg). With only four starters returning however, a new identity must emerge for the Cowboys to compete.

Up front the team will rely on holdovers in junior end Jimmy Bean and senior tackle James Castleman. Bean recorded 4.5 sacks as a sophomore.

Junior linebacker Ryan Simmons returns in the middle of the defense after posting 67 tackles last year, while junior cornerback Kevin Peterson (24 tackles, 2 INTs) should provide the team with a veteran leader in the secondary.

The Seminoles are primed for another big season and have more than enough in terms of talent to not only win the ACC again, but another national championship. While there will undoubtedly be tests along the way, FSU should pass the first test with a strong win to kick things off.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 37, Oklahoma State 17

08/29 16:28:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
2nd
UNCW 35
ECU 25
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
Half
NOP 44
POR 62
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ATL
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
SAN
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
IND
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
MIL
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
3rd
AFA 23
WMICH 10
 
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 44
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
2nd
AUB 73
XAV 71
 
Half
AKR 48
BLUFFTON 27
 
Half
DAY 39
BU 32
 
2nd
UNCW 35
ECU 25
 
Half
CLMB 34
HOF 38
 
Half
GMAS 45
IONA 38
 
2nd
TOWS 15
LAS 32
 
2nd
MAN 45
MRGST 42
 
2nd
CCST 45
YALE 56
 
2nd
PEPP 32
RICH 33
 
2nd
MAR 34
STJOE 45
 
Half
KYST 39
TEXAM 32
 
2nd
MAST 45
VALPO 44
 
Half
UMKC 44
INCWORD 31
 
1st
IDST 29
CALST 29
 
1st
NIOWA 20
IOWA 24
 
1st
SIUE 14
UWMIL 16
 
1st
TEX 5
LBSU 5
 
1st
TCU 0
TXSA 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARK
SEMIZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
JVST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARST
LEH
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
OKLA
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
STED
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
BST
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
MNTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
TAMCC
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
SDKST
 
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
STAN
11:30pm Tonight
UNLV
UTAH
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
2nd
CLB 1
CHI 0
 
2nd
BUF 0
COL 2
 
1st Intermission
PIT 2
FLA 1
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
1st Intermission
MON 1
OTT 1
 
1st Intermission
TOR 3
PHI 3
 
2nd
NYI 0
TAM 0
 
2nd
NJD 0
WAS 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NAS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
STL
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
 
8:25pm Tonight
SFX
SDC