For Seminoles fans Sunday night is a pleasant memory and the fifth anniversary of one of Florida State’s greatest finishes in all-time history. January 6th 2014, FSU defeated Auburn in the final BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
Quarterback Jameis Winston came off of recently being named the Heisman Trophy winner to lead the game-winning touchdown drive in dramatic fashion. Take a look:
When Winston hit receiver Kelvin Benjamin with the two yard score and only 1:06 remaining, Florida State completed its first 14 – 0 season in program history.
Many fans may not remember, but the Noles actually trailed badly 21 – 3 in the first half of the game as the SEC Champion Tigers appeared to be well on their way to win the championship. Remember also, that Auburn had pulled off two of the craziest wins is there program history in back-to-back SEC games just to be part of the game.
Those Tigers defeated Georgia on a fourth-down bomb in the final minute that was deflected to receiver Ricardo Louis for the winning touchdown.
That was trumped two weeks later by the most famous play in the history of the Alabama – Auburn “Iron Bowl” rivalry. That’s when, running back Chris Davis fielded a missed Bama field goal and raced 109 yards on the return on the final play of regulation defeat the Tide and clinch the SEC West Title.
However, fast-forwarding to that night in the Rose Bowl, the Tigers magic finally ran out, as Winston led the comeback ending it with the 90-yard drive in the waning moments to send FSU fans into pandemonium.
January 6th, 2014 was also Winston’s 20th birthday (he’s obviously now 25) and it’s the crowning moment of his college career. The Noles would win 13 straight games in 2014 before losing in the newly created College Football Playoff semi-final in that same Rose Bowl Stadium.
As for Benjamin, he was also a first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers and their teammate, Devonta Freeman who ran for 73 yards and a TD in the game, later was a fourth round pick of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Championship win also validated the coaching career of Jimbo Fisher, who had replaced the legendary Bobby Bowden, and garnered Florida State’s first National Championships since 1999.
FSU eventually hired former Oregon and USF coach Willie Taggart to replace him and just went through their worst season in 40 years at 5 – 7 and missing a bowl game.
Still you can never take away with the Seminoles did that night half a decade ago in Southern California.
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