For a while there it looked like Florida State was on the verge of not only losing its first game all season, but would go out with a whimper in the college football championship game by losing to Auburn.
But when it was all said and done, FSU came out on top. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left and No. 1 Florida State beat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 to win the last VIZIO BCS National Championship on Monday night.
For whatever reason Winston – the 2013 Heisman trophy winnern – looked uncharacteristically shaky throughout most of the first half, but in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter, he and the team turned it around.
Winston went 6 for 7 for 77 yards on the game-winning 80-yard drive in the 3rd and 4th quarters. In the end, a pass interference penalty on Auburn’s Chris Davis gave Florida State a first-and-goal at the 2 and on the next play Winston hit his big receiver for the touchdown.
“I said this from Day 1 in spring ball. These kids are special,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “This group never faltered. They wanted to be elite. They wanted to go to the top and there’s so much character in this group.”
Tre Mason had given Auburn (12-2) a 31-27 lead with a 37-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left after Kermit Whitfield had put Florida State in the lead for the first time since the first quarter with a 100-yard kickoff return to make it 27-24 with 4:31 left.
Mason ran for 195 yards.
Winston was 20 for 35 for 237 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdown passes.
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