Florida State came into this heavyweight fight the big favorite. Yet early in this game they learned it was they who would be up against the ropes. Auburn was able to run the ball against the daunting Seminole defense. RB Tre Mason was effective as the team's ball carrier, allowing Auburn to control the pace and keep the FSU offense on the sideline. Mason rushed for a 195 yards and two TDs. Nick Marshall stole the headlines from his counterpart early. Marshall made the big throws when his team needed. He managed the game almost flawlessly.
However the Tiger defense was equally as effective as the offense. Holding the Seminoles to just ten first half points. The Tigers pressured and rushed Winston, forcing the Heisman winner into miscues. Often this season he has made it easy to forget he was a freshman. The Auburn pass rush helped remind the nation he was. Winston looked strong for awhile, however the normally confident field general looked confused by the Tiger blitz schemes. Still he led FSU to 17 unanswered points to start the second half.
The Seminoles special teams put them in the lead with a little over four minutes in the fourth with Whitfield's 100 yard kick return. His second kick return of the year. The fight was at it's climax. Nick Marshall and the Tiger offense had the ball trailing by three and the season in the balance. Once again the Tigers drove down the field to pay dirt, giving Winston one more try. FSU with just over a minute to play answered back for the win. Winston throwing for the game winning TD. Making FSU The National Champs for the first time since 1999.
In the end FSU won enough battles to win the war. Starting within the trenches and extracting into the skill positions. The Tigers were like no opponent that FSU fad faced all year. Having survived the rigorous schedule of the SEC, Auburn came up just short to the ACC Champs.
The real winners are the fans, having witnessed an instant classic.
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