FSU, number one for first time since ‘99
In front of a Rose Bowl crowd of 94,208, the top ranked Florida State Seminoles came back from an 18 point deficit to defeat the number two ranked Auburn Tigers, 34-31. The Seminoles won their first National Championship in fifteen years and their third in school history. Meanwhile, Auburn became the first Southeastern Conference team to lose the Championship since this title game was established during the 2006 season.
Auburn jumped out to a 21-3 lead behind two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown by quarterback Nick Marshall. One of Marshall’s scoring passes went to running back Tre Mason, who also rushed for 195-yards on 34 carries while scoring another touchdown from 37-yards out. Overall, Marshall completed 14 of 27 passes for 217-yards while rushing for 45 more on 16 carries.
On Florida State’s side of the ball, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston completed 20 of 35 passes for 237-yards and a pair of scoring passes. Devonta Freeman led the team in rushing with 73-yards on 11 carries with a touchdown and wide receiver Rashad Greene caught nine passes for 147-yards. Levonte Whitfield also ran a kickoff back 100-yards for another score.
With 1:19 remaining, Winston saved his best for last. The Seminoles were trailing by four following the Mason touchdown, but the offense put together a seven play, 80-yard drive. The march culminated with the freshman throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left as Florida State stole victory away from Auburn.
Jameis Winston’s heroics earned him the offensive MVP award; he also became the first freshman to win a Heisman Trophy and a National Championship. This game could possibly be the final BCS National Championship Game due to a postseason format that will take place at following the 2014 season.