The most important day of the college football season has come and passed. The BCS Bowl Championship game featuring the top ranked Florida State Seminoles and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston battled against the upstart Auburn Tigers and their vaunted rushing offense led by Heisman candidate Tre Mason.
The stage was set for what could possibly be a contest for the ages. The Seminoles were ranked in the top 10 nationally in several statistical categories including; yards per game, and passing yardage. Auburn, on the other hand, is an offense that runs the ball and that’s exactly what they did on Monday night.
The Tigers averaged over 300 yards rushing in their last six SEC games. Quarterback Nick Marshall is the typical dual-threat college signal caller. He only threw for 1,759 yards with 12 TDs and 5 INTS this season, but made several critical throws versus the Seminoles and gashed them for several long runs as well.
As scary as Marshall is, he wasn’t even “the man” on the overachieving Tigers’ roster. That designation would easily go to running back Tre Mason. He finished the game with 195 yards rushing and 2 TDs. Once upon a time, the fame that came with the Mason name emanated from his father DJ Maseo of seminal rap group De La Soul. But Mason is clearly NFL bound and due for some national acclaim of his own.
Most prognosticators predicted the game would be dominated by Jameis Winston, who is equally adept at throwing and running the ball. However, Auburn’s athletic defensive front got after him early and rattled him. The Seminoles were down big for the first time since September 28 and faced their largest deficit of the season when down 21-3 late in the first half. A fake punt that led to a score was likely the play of the game. FSU would be down 21-10 at halftime.
Twitter was lighting Jameis Winston up at halftime with some people jokingly saying he runs like the fat kid at a cookout, while another said he runs like he has on Timberland boots. However, the Seminoles began driving early in the 3rd quarter as Winston completed several passes and would eventually get the last laugh.
The Heisman Trophy winner showed great resolve and determination in leading back a Florida Staste University football team that looked to be outclassed and outmanned for the majority of the game. He settled down and led the Seminoles on several scoring drives, however it was Levonte Whitfield’s punt return that sparked a comeback that would lead to 24 points scored in the 4th quarter for FSU.
A deep strike by Nick Marshall to Ricardo Louis placed the ball on the FSU 47 yard line which led to a field goal. Florida State return man Whitfield would expose a suspect Auburn special teams coverage unit on his way to the end zone to give the Seminoles a three point lead 27-23. Auburn would respond with several punishing runs and a score from running back Tre Mason.
The score was 31-27 but Jameis Winston would summon the ghosts of Heisman Trophy winners of the past in leading FSU to a late score with a strike to WR Kelvin Benjamin. Auburn would simply run out of time. The final BCS Bowl Championship would end with the score 34-31 in favor of Florida State. Some are already calling it the greatest national championship game of all time.