Home Sports College Originally published January 07, 2014

Jameis Winston Leads Florida State to National Title

College Football – BCS National Championship

by Perry Green
AFRO Sports Editor

  •   Click on the photo to view additional Photos.
    Florida State's Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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Jameis Winston overcame a slow start as the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles edged past the No. 2 Auburn Tigers, 34-31 in the BCS National Championship in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6 at Pasadena, Calif.

It was one of the most thrilling finishes in recent BCS history. Auburn led 24-20 early in the fourth quarter, but Florida State took a 27-24 lead after freshman wide receiver Levonte Whitfield ran back a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers responded with a 37-yard touchdown by junior running back Tre Mason, pushing them ahead 31-27 with just more than a minute left in the game.

That’s when “Famous Jameis” proved why he was the second freshman quarterback ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Winston engineered an 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a game-winning 2-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Kelvin Benjamin with only 13 seconds left on the game clock.

Winston’s fourth -quarter heroics overcame a slow start as the Seminoles failed to score more than three points for most of the first half. But the redshirt-freshman quarterback came through when it mattered most, leading the Seminoles to 24 second-half points.

Winston finished the game 20-of-35 for 237 yards, 2 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Benjamin caught 5 passes for 54 yards.

Mason led Auburn with 195 yards on 34 carries in the loss. Junior quarterback Nick Marshall completed 14-of-27 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossed a critical interception late in the second half that helped Florida State spark a comeback after trailing 21-10 at halftime.

Florida State finished with a perfect 14-0 season while Auburn dropped to 12-2 on the season. The Seminoles of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) are now the first non-Southeastern Athletic Conference (SEC) team to win the BCS National Championship since 2006.