PASADENA, CA — Jameis Winston has a BCS championship to go with his Heisman Trophy.
The freshman tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining to give FloridaState a 34-31 comeback victory over Auburn. Winston was 6 of 7 for 77 yards on a game-winning drive that took just 66 seconds and was engineered right after Tre Mason ran for a 37-yard touchdown to put the Tigers ahead 31-27 with 1:19 to play. Mason’s scoring run came after Kermit Whitfield had put Florida State on top for the first time since the first quarter with a 100-yard kickoff return to make it 27-24 with 4:31 left.
The Seminoles struggled early after winning their 13 regular-season games by an average of 43 points, falling behind for the first time since September 28. Melvin Ray’s 50-yard touchdown grab put the Tigers ahead 21-3 before FSU rallied to finish 14-0.
Winston was 20 of 35 for 237 yards, two fourth-quarter touchdowns and no interceptions before he was named the game’s offensive most valuable player. He was 14 of 20 for 175 yards in the second half on his 20th birthday.
Devonta Freeman had a team-high 73 rushing yards on 11 carries, including a short scoring run that began the Seminoles’ comeback late in the second quarter.
Mason shredded the FSU defense, carrying 34 times for 195 yards and the touchdown that put Auburn on the verge of keeping the BCS title within the SEC. Nick Marshall ran for 45 yards and a TD and was 14 of 27 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
It was the final BCS championship before it’s replaced by the College Football Playoff next season. The Southeastern Conference won nine of the 16 BCS title games, including seven straight before Florida State claimed its third national championship and first since the 1999 season.