Jameis Winston may have the Florida State fans quickly putting the EJ Manuel-era in the past.
Manuel led the Seminoles to an ACC title and an Orange Bowl win last season, but Winston showed Monday there could be bigger things on the horizon by throwing for 356 yards and four touchdowns while leading No. 11 Florida State to a 41-13 drubbing of Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.
"He played one game. That's it," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "But he did a great job. As long as he keeps the process in mind and keeps working with great habits, everything's going to be fine, and that's what he has to do. It's not about age. It's about habits. If you have good work habits, you get results if you have ability."
The redshirt freshman added a rushing touchdown, completed all but two of his 27 attempts and connected with Nick O'Leary for three scores as Florida State (1-0, 1-0 ACC) outgained the Panthers by a 533-297 margin.
"He did a good job of making plays and extending plays," Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said of Winston.
It was the season and conference opener for both schools as Pittsburgh (0-1, 0-1) bolted the defunct Big East for the ACC this year.
The Panthers roared out of the gate with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Tom Savage and Manasseh Garner hooking up for a 4-yard touchdown on the game's opening drive.
From there, however, the Seminoles took control.
Savage finished with just 201 yards on 15-of-28 passes and was intercepted twice, the first setting up O'Leary's 24-yard touchdown grab with 4:11 left in the opening quarter.
O'Leary added another score early in the second when a play-action fake left him wide open in the corner of the end zone for a go-ahead 2-yard TD.
Chris Blewitt pulled Pitt within 14-10 with a 28-yard field goal, but the Seminoles scored two touchdowns in the final 2:13 of the half.
After Winston kept it himself on a 5-yard run to cap a 14-play, 78-yard drive that took up seven-plus minutes, Terrence Brooks picked off Savage in Pitt territory. Three plays later, Winston tossed a 23-yard touchdown to Rashad Greene for a healthy 28-10 Florida State cushion at halftime.
Three field goals accounted for all the points in the third quarter, as Blewitt made a 39-yarder in between Roberto Aguayo's makes from 22 and 28 yards out.
Winston and O'Leary put an exclamation point on their big night with a 10-yard scoring strike early in the fourth quarter.
Monday marked just the third time in 41 years that a freshman started at quarterback on opening day for Florida State ... O'Leary had four catches for 47 yards, while Greene led all receivers with 126 yards on eight receptions ... The ACC consists of 14 teams this season with the addition of Pitt and Syracuse ... This was the first time the programs met since 1983 ... Pitt retired Larry Fitzgerald's No. 1 jersey despite the wideout only playing two seasons for the school.