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FSU scores with 13 seconds left, beats Auburn 34-31 to win the B - abc27 WHTM

FSU scores with 13 seconds left, beats Auburn 34-31 to win the BCS National Championship

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Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin catches the eventual game-winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the BCS National Championship Game, Monday, January 6, 2013.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin catches the eventual game-winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the BCS National Championship Game, Monday, January 6, 2013.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Jameis Winston and Florida State faced down adversity for the first time this season, and showed they could take a punch if that's what it took to win a national championship.

The Heisman Trophy winner threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left and No. 1 Florida State beat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 to win the BCS championship game on Monday night.

"There's a lot of heart and guts down in Tallahassee, too," coach Jimbo Fisher said.

The Bowl Championship Series went out with a bang, with one of the best championship games in its 16-year history. And the Southeastern Conference's seven-year winning streak in college football's biggest game was snapped.

Winston struggled much of the night but was near perfect when the Seminoles (14-0) needed it most, going 6 for 7 for 77 yards on the game-winning 80 yard drive. A pass interference penalty on Auburn's Chris Davis gave Florida State a first-and-goal at the 2 and on the next play Winston hit his big receiver, Benjamin, for the touchdown in traffic.

There was no miracle finish this time for the turnaround Tigers. They tossed the ball around on one final play, but it ended with Florida State jumping on a fumble, and the Seminoles sprinting onto the field under a storm of garnet and gold confetti.

Tre Mason had given Auburn (12-2) a 31-27 lead with a 37-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left after Kermit Whitfield had put Florida State in the lead for the first time since the first quarter with a 100-yard kickoff return to make it 27-24 with 4:31 left.

Mason ran for 195 yards and Nick Marshall threw two touchdown passes for the Tigers.

Winston was 20 for 35 for 237 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Florida State hadn't been challenged like this all season, winning by an average of 42 points. The Seminoles were down 21-3 in the first half, and wobbling, but never fell over.

And now Florida State is national champion for the first time since 1999, the first team to win it after being down at halftime.

Winston was jumpy against a strong Auburn pass rush, led by Dee Ford. He was sacked four times.

The Seminoles cut it to 21-10 with a late touchdown in the second quarter and chipped into Auburn's lead with a 41-yard field goal by Roberto Aguyao with 6:05 left in the third.

Meanwhile, Florida State had found some answers to Auburn's spread offense. A holding penalty that wiped out a long pass also helped keep the Tigers scoreless in the third quarter, and the Seminoles began the fourth with P.J. Williams intercepting Marshall's pass and setting up Florida State at its 38.

When Winston tossed in the flats to Chad Abram, who hurdled over a tackler on the way to an 11-yard touchdown the lead was 21-19. Florida State was considering going for two to tie, but Devonta Freeman was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and that pushed the extra point back 15 yards and forced the Seminoles to kick and make it 21-20.

Auburn responded with its best drive since the second quarter, mixing runs by Mason and Marshall with one big pass to Ricardo Louis. But it stalled at the 6 and Cody Parkey added a 22-yard field goal to make it 24-20 with 4:42 left.

During Winston's record-breaking season, filled with blowouts and fourth quarters spent watching from the sideline, he never faced a situation in which he had to drive his team to a winning score.

Now he had a chance to add that last line to his remarkable resume — until Whitfield handled it for him.

Whitfield broke through a seam around the 30 and hit the sideline at full speed. Fisher ran down the other sideline yelling "Go! Go!" with Winston chasing behind pumping his arms and slapping his coach on the back. Florida State was on top, but Auburn was not done.

Mason and Marshall went to work, driving Auburn into Florida State territory, and Auburn's Heisman finalist, Mason, finished it off by bowling over Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey on the way to the end zone.

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts after the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. Florida State won 34-31. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Team Stat Comparison

 FSUAUB
1st Downs 19 25
Total Yards 385 449
Passing 237 217
Rushing 148 232
Penalties 8-60 5-38
3rd Down Conversions 2-12 10-18
4th Down Conversions 1-1 0-0
Turnovers 1 1
Possession 26:19 33:41

Passing Leaders

 
Florida StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Winston 20/35 237 6.8 2 0
 
AuburnC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Marshall 14/27 217 8.0 2 1

Rushing Leaders

 
Florida StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Freeman 11 73 6.6 1 21
Winston 11 26 2.4 0 21
 
AuburnCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mason 34 195 5.7 1 37
Marshall 16 45 2.8 1 13

Receiving Leaders

 
Florida StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Greene 9 147 16.3 0 49
Benjamin 4 54 13.5 1 24
 
AuburnRECYDSAVGTDLG
Coates 4 61 15.3 0 22
Ray 1 50 50.0 1 50

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERFSUAUB
FG 09:53 Roberto Aguayo 35 Yd
3 0
TD 03:07 Tre Mason 12 Yd Pass From Nick Marshall (Cody Parkey Kick)
3 7
SECOND QUARTERFSUAUB
TD 13:48 Melvin Ray 50 Yd Pass From Nick Marshall (Cody Parkey Kick)
3 14
TD 05:01 Nick Marshall 4 Yd Run (Cody Parkey Kick)
3 21
TD 01:28 Devonta Freeman 3 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)
10 21
THIRD QUARTERFSUAUB
FG 06:05 Roberto Aguayo 41 Yd
13 21
FOURTH QUARTERFSUAUB
TD 10:55 Chad Abram 11 Yd Pass From Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo Kick)
20 21
FG 04:42 Cody Parkey 22 Yd
20 24
TD 04:31 Levonte Whitfield 100 Yd Kickoff Return (Roberto Aguayo Kick)
27 24
TD 01:19 Tre Mason 37 Yd Run (Cody Parkey Kick)
27 31
TD 00:13 Kelvin Benjamin 2 Yd Pass From Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo Kick)
34 31
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