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January 6, 2014

Florida State beats Auburn 34-31 for BCS title

PASADENA, Calif. -- Florida State had the best offense and the best defense in college football. In the end, the Seminoles also found a miracle against Auburn.

Quarterback Jameis Winston threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left to give the Seminoles a 34-31 lead and the national championship.

"The only thing is we're victorious and glad to say Florida State is the national champion again," Winston said. "I guarantee you we're bringing that swag back. You'd better believe it."

Benjamin's touchdown capped a major comeback and a wild fourth quarter. The Seminoles fell behind 21-3 in the second quarter, but scored a touchdown before halftime to trim Auburn's lead. The spark for that touchdown came when Fisher called for a fake punt on fourth down, converted by running back Karlos Williams. Devonta Freeman capped the 11-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

FSU pulled closer when Winston finally found his groove in the second half, marching down the field for a field goal and converting an interception from Nick Marshall into a touchdown pass to Chad Abram. That made the score 20-21 after the extra point.

But it was far from over.

Auburn's field goal gave the Tigers a four-point lead for a brief moment. Florida State's Levonte Whitfield ran the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown and the Seminoles' first lead since the opening minutes.

It looked like the Tigers had one more miracle when Tre Mason capped a 75-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown, leaving just 1:19 on the clock. Mason finished with 34 carries for 195 yards and a score along with a 42-yard touchdown reception.

Winston had a miracle of his own. FSU struck the decisive blow, finishing an 80-yard drive with the freshman's touchdown pass to Benjamin, leaping over Auburn defender Chris Davis. The game was sealed when the Seminoles tackled Mason after a number of laterals from the Tigers.

"It's the best football game (Winston) played all year, and I'll tell you why," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Because for three quarters he was up and down. And he fought. ...It's in the fourth quarter, I've got one or two touches left and you can take your team down the field and lead them to victory, that's what a great players is to me."

Special teams played a significant role in the outcome. Along with Williams' first down on the fake punt and Whitfield's touchdown, the Tigers missed a field goal in the first half. Those missed points came back to haunt the Tigers, losing by three points.

Stay tuned to Warchant.com for complete postgame coverage of Florida State's national championship.



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