PITTSBURGH -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has seen more than his fair share of hype before ever taking a snap at Florida State.
He didn’t disappoint early in his debut though.
In front of a national audience, Winston completed 17 of his first 18 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns during the first half Monday night against Pittsburgh at Heinz field.
He also had 15 rushing yards in the first half to help give the Seminoles a 28-10 halftime lead.
The Winston era was briefly interrupted on the first FSU drive of the season when his helmet came off during a scramble.
Backup quarterback Jacob Coker, a redshirt sophomore, came in for a play and handed the ball of before Winston came back on the field.
Jalen Ramsey and Demarcus Walker, both true freshmen, made their first career starts Monday night.
Walker started at right end, and Ramsey was at corner when the Seminoles took the field against the Panthers.
Ramsey, a five-star recruit who was orally committed to Southern California until just days before National Signing Day, stood out through FSU’s preseason camp.
Walker, a four-star recruit who flipped from Alabama to FSU hours after the BCS title game, enrolled early but wasn’t allowed to participate in spring practice for academic reasons.
Both started their careers in Garnet and Gold in the starting lineups.
Ramsey wasted little time repaying FSU’s coaches for their confidence in him, intercepting a pass on Pittsburgh’s second offensive possession of the game.
The start of Monday night’s game was delayed 10 minutes because of lightning. Both teams were told not to take the field, and the Pittsburgh student section was briefly evacuated while a small front passed through about an hour before the game started.
Kickoff was pushed back to 8:10 p.m.
This and that
• Last season, tight end Nick O’Leary caught just three touchdown passes. Twenty minutes into the 2013 season, O’Leary already had two-thirds of his 2012 total after
catching two scoring passes early in the game.
• Junior wide receiver Rashad Greene’s highest receiving total in 2012 was 125 yards against Virginia Tech. Greene (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) nearly matched that in the first half against Pittsburgh, with seven catches for 115 yards and a score.
• Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, linebacker Telvin Smith and center Bryan Stork — all seniors — represented the Seminoles at midfield for the coin toss.