As Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy Winner Jameis Winston struggled throughout the first three quarters of Monday's BCS Championship Game, did you have any idea that the fourth quarter would be the back-and-forth contest that it became?
Auburn and Florida State each scored twice in the final five minutes, including the winning touchdown when Winston hit Kelvin Benjamin on a play-action pass with 13 seconds left.
The pass was set up after a pass interference penalty in the end zone one play after Florida State had a delay of game penalty from the Auburn 5-yard line.
It also meant that Florida State became the first team in the BCS Championship Game to win after trailing at halftime. The Seminoles were down at the half 21-10.
Auburn went up 24-20 with 4:42 to go when Cody Parkey hit a field goal. The four-point lead was critical for the Tigers, as it forced Florida State to get a touchdown to take the lead. The Seminoles had scored with 11 minutes to go to make the game 21-19, but a taunting penalty on Devonta Freeman forced the extra point try back to the 18-yard line. That meant Florida State had to settle for the point after rather than potentially tie the game with a two-point conversion.
Freeman was penalized for taunting the Auburn sideline after Chad Abram caught an 11-yard swing pass from Winston.
After the field goal, the stage was set for Winston to lead the Seminoles down the field, right? Kermit Whitfield changed that with a 100-yard kick return down the left sideline. An Auburn player on that half of the field came up with a hamstring injury covering the kick, and after getting two blocks, Whitfield was gone.
With the game now 27-24, it was Auburn's turn for a game-winning drive. The Tigers paced themselves throughout the drive seemingly with the idea of either a game-tying field goal or a touchdown with seconds left. On a simple run to the right on second-and-15, Auburn running back Tre Mason burst through the offensive line and shed a tackle at the 20-yard line for a 37-yard touchdown run.
Auburn was back on top by four again, and Florida State needed another touchdown. However, the team that scored against Alabama on a play that started with a second on the clock might have known that 1:19 was too much to leave Winston and the Seminoles.
It was plenty of time, especially after Winston hit Rashad Greene for 49 yards on the second play of the drive. Suddenly Florida State was inside the 25-yard line while only 20 seconds had ticked off the clock.
Five plays later, Florida State was in the end zone and later crowned BCS Champions.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- BCS Championship Game
- Jameis Winston