Winston's late heroics give FSU 34-31 win over Auburn - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Winston's late heroics give FSU 34-31 win over Auburn

Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)
The No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles are the winners of the last BCS National Championship in Pasadena, CA.  (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) The No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles are the winners of the last BCS National Championship in Pasadena, CA. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)
Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)
The crowd gathers to the national championship on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (Source: George Jones/RNN) The crowd gathers to the national championship on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (Source: George Jones/RNN)
Auburn fans made the 2,000 mile trip to California to see the Tigers play. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) Auburn fans made the 2,000 mile trip to California to see the Tigers play. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)

PASADENA, CA (RNN) - Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston fired a 2-yard scoring pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left to lift Florida State to a thrilling 34-31 win over Auburn for the BCS National Championship. The touchdown capped a 75-yard desperation drive in a wild fourth quarter.

"This is the best football game he's played," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of his star. "Because he struggled for three quarters. Great players recognize great moments."

It was the fourth lead change in the final 4:41 of the game, and came after Tre Mason gave Auburn a brief 31-27 lead on a 37-yard run with 1:19 left to play. Mason gashed the Seminoles for 195 rushing yards, and caught a 12-yard scoring pass in the first period that gave Auburn its first lead, 7-3.

Mason's second score came after a 75-yard drive after FSU's Levonte Whitfield returned a fourth-period kickoff 100 yards to give Florida State a 27-24 lead, its first since early in the first quarter.

Whitfield's herocis came after Auburn's Cody Parkey chipped a 22-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 24-20 lead with a little under five minutes left.

Winston hit Chad Abram with an 11-yard scoring pass to cut the Auburn lead to 21-20 with 10:55 left in the fourth. The Seminoles drove 41 yards to the score after P.J. Williams intercepted a Nick Marshall pass at his 40-yard line, fumbled, and teammate LaMarcus Joyner recovered.

Seminoles' running back Devonte Freeman was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after taunting the AU sideline following Abram's score. That kept FSU from trying a potential game-tying two-point conversion.

It was FSU's 17th straight point after falling behind 21-3 in the first half.

Roberto Aguayo's second field goal of the night cut Auburn's lead to 21-13 in the third period. The score capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive. The Seminoles defense held the Tigers scoreless in the third stanza after Marshall shredded it in the first half.

Marshall threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Tigers to a 21-10 halftime lead.

Marshall threw a first-quarter, 13-yard TD pass to Tre Mason and heaved a 50-yard scoring bomb to Melvin Ray early in the second period. He ran for a 4-yard TD to give the Tigers a 21-3 lead after a fumble by Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston gave the Tigers the ball at the FSU 27.

Florida State rallied and drove 66 yards to a 3-yard TD run by Devonta Freeman to cut Auburn's lead to 21-10 with 1:28 left in the half. The Seminoles kept the drive alive with a fake punt and a clutch 21-yard, third-down run by Winston.

The TD broke a first half of dominance by the underdog Tigers. Marshall hit 7 of 13 passes for 113 yards and Mason has 96 of Auburn's 119 first-half running yards.

The Seminoles struck first, driving 59 yards on their opening possession to a 35-yard Aguayo field goal.

Mason's TD catch put the Seminoles behind for the first time since their game against Boston College game on Sept. 28.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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