Jameis Winston’s 2-yard scoring pass with 13 seconds left capped Florida State’s comeback from an 18-point deficit as the Seminoles beat Auburn 34-31 to win college football’s national title and complete a perfect season.
Winston’s second touchdown pass of the game, to Kelvin Benjamin, wrapped up a wild final five minutes in which the lead changed three times at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Florida State (14-0) trailed 21-3 midway through the second quarter before rallying behind quarterback Winston, a freshman who won the Heisman Trophy this season as the top player in college football.
The Seminoles took a 27-24 lead with 4 1/2 minutes remaining on Levonte Whitfield’s 100-yard kickoff return. Auburn (12-2) responded with Tre Mason’s 37-yard touchdown run with 79 seconds remaining to take a 31-27 lead. Mason finished with 34 carries for 195 yards.
The win brought Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s total bonuses to $550,000, on top of his $2.75 million salary. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn would have collected $1.2 million in bonuses on top of his $2.3 million annual salary with a victory.