The Florida State Seminoles have been historically dominant all season long as they have marched their way to a perfect regular season, an ACC title, and a spot in the BCS National Championship against the Auburn Tigers. Early in the game, however, Auburn was doing to the dominating, jumping out to a 21-3 lead over the Noles. It was the first time that Florida State had been truly challenged this season and their Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston answered the challenge in resounding fashion.
Auburn’s gameplan in this game was to take FSU to the fourth quarter. All season long, the Noles had put games away by the end of the third quarter and had not been challenged to win games late on their run to a perfect regular season while Auburn was battle-tested with close wins all season long. The Tigers felt they had the advantage if they could keep Florida State close and force them to win the game in the fourth quarter.
And Gus Malzahn got exactly what he wanted. Auburn pressed the advantage early, jumping out to the early lead and forcing Florida State to earn every yard and make them labor to get back into the game. Winston struggled early on, visibly frustrated by the pressure and athleticism of the Auburn defense. Passing windows were closed down quickly as the cornerbacks physically challenged the FSU receivers and the Tigers’ defensive line was tenacious in pressuring Winston. For most of the game, it worked to perfection.
But when the game was on the line, Winston proved why he was named the Heisman Trophy winner as the nation’s best college football player. He put the Seminole offense on his back and put together huge drives in the fourth quarter when the team needed him to, finishing the game with a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin in the final seconds to secure the dramatic 34-31 victory, securing the national title for FSU and ending the SEC strangle hold on the BCS.
With the game on the line and FSU being truly tested for the first time in 2013, Jameis Winston answered the call. In his first season under center for Florida State, the Heisman winner faced sky-high expectations. With a BCS National Championship now in hand, he’s successfully surpassed all of them.