Florida State was down 18 points in the first half of the BCS Championship Game against Auburn and staring at the prospect of a monumental upset, but a fake punt changed that all.
A daring call on 4th and 4 allowed the Seminoles to convert and go on to score a touchdown, sparking a thrilling comeback against the Tigers that saw three lead changes within the final five minutes and ended with Florida State winning 34-31.
After Auburn took the lead on a 37-yard touchdown by Tre Mason late in the fourth quarter, Florida State responded with a 7-play drive that went 80 yards in a little more than a minute, ending with Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin.
Auburn could not move the ball on its last gasp drive with less than 20 seconds remaining, securing the win for Florida State and its first national championship since the Bobby Bowden era.
The fourth quarter of the BCS Championship Game was one of the most heart-stopping in recent memory. The quarter started with Florida State scoring a touchdown to cut Auburn’s lead to one point, 21-20. After Auburn kicked a field goal, Florida State responded with a 100-yard kickoff return from Levonte Whitfield to take its first lead since 3-0 in the first quarter.
Auburn answered almost immediately with Mason’s touchdown, but Winston would not be denied on the team’s last drive, finishing 6-of-7.
“When they gave us all they’ve got, we gave it right back to them and we came up victorious,” said an exuberant Winston after the game.
The finish was fitting for the BCS Championship, which will be gone next year in favor of the first College Football Playoff in FBS. There have been constant questions about whether the BCS is the best way to determine the national champions, but at 14-0 the Florida State Seminoles left no doubt this year.