For the first time since 1999, the Florida State Seminoles are National Champions after defeating the Auburn Tigers 34-31 in dramatic fashion.
With 13 seconds left, Jameis Winston hit Kelvin Benjamin in the end-zone capping a brilliant 7-play 80-yard game-winning drive. On the drive, Winston was at his best completing 6 of 7 passes for 77 yards leading the Seminoles to victory. For the game, Winston was 20 for 35 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Both came in the 4th quarter.
Florida State got off to a brutal start and trailed 21-3 with under 2 minutes remaining in the first half. Florida State then went on to score the next 17 straight points to get back into the game.
The final 4 minutes and 42 seconds of this game were absolutely absurd. Following a Cody Parker 22-yard field goal that gave the Tigers a 24-20 lead, Levonte Whitfield ran the ensuing kick-off back 100 yards giving Florida State its first lead since 3-0.
On the next Auburn drive, Tre Mason broke free for a 37-yard touchdown run that gave the lead back to the Tigers with 1:19 left. Mason was the best offensive player for the Tigers in the game rushing for 195 yards, the 2nd most in BCS Championship game history.
Famous Jameis wouldn’t go away though. On a 2nd down and 2 from his own 28-yard line, Winston hit Rashad Greene for 49 yards taking the Seminoles all the way to the Auburn 23-yard line. Winston would drive the Seminoles to the Auburn 5-yard line, but a delay of game pushed Florida State back to the 10.
That didn’t stop Jameis. On 3rd down and 8 from the 10-yard line, Chris Davis was called for pass interference in the end-zone setting up Benjamin’s game winner. There was not going to be another Auburn miracle in this one.
Florida State’s 18-point deficit is the largest comeback win in the history of the BCS Championship. The previous high was Texas overcoming a 12-point deficit in 2006 against USC, a game that was also played at the Rose Bowl.
This game was the first time Florida State trailed since September 28th against Boston College. The Seminoles never trailed for 583 minutes and 42 seconds.
The SEC’s 7-year national title reign is officially over.