Florida State clinches BCS National Championship trip, beating Duke 45-7

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Seminoles cruise past Duke on their way to the ACC Championship and a date in the BCS National Championship.

Duke entered the ACC Championship as four-touchdown underdogs against Florida State, but the Blue Devils did not look intimidated at all in the early going. Duke held FSU scoreless through the first quarter but could not capitalize on early Seminole turnovers and advantageous field position, and that's not something you can afford to do against the No. 1 team in the country.

The Seminoles' offense eventually woke up and posted a 17-point second quarter, and the game was never seriously in doubt after halftime in Florida State's 45-7 win. The victory secures FSU's spot in the BCS National Championship against either Ohio State or Auburn.

Jameis Winston, the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, wasn't quite as sharp as he has been for most of the season, but his efforts were more than enough for Florida State to comfortably trounce the Blue Devils. Winston finished the night with 330 yards passing and three touchdowns but was intercepted twice and seemed out of sorts for much of the first half, completing just one out of his first six passes.

Duke strung together a 14-play, 67-yard drive in the first quarter but came away with nothing to show for it when Ross Martin's 48-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. Later in second quarter, Jamison Crowder ripped off a 40-yard punt return to give the Blue Devils great field position in Seminole territory, but that drive ended three plays later when Anthony Boone was picked off by Lamarcus Joyner. These represented Duke's only serious threats to score until Blue Devil running back Josh Snead punched in a garbage-time touchdown with one minute left in the game.

Box Score Hero: Kelvin Benjamin caught four passes for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His first score -- the only one that Florida State would need to win -- came on a 14-yard fade route that he pulled down despite being draped by a pair of Blue Devil defenders.

Winstontdpass_medium

Rankings Ramifications: Florida State came into this game ranked No. 1, and that's not going to change. Duke was ranked 20th in the BCS standings prior to championship weekend. The Blue Devils might fall a spot or two, but it's hard to fault them for getting beaten handily by the Seminoles, who have beaten every other team on their schedule in similar fashion.

But Did They Cover? Florida State was favored to win by 30. The Seminoles covered easily.

For More On This Game: For more on FSU football, visit Florida State community Tomahawk Nation. For more on the Blue Devils, visit Duke Basketball Report.

Next Week's Schedule: Florida State is heading to the BCS National Championship on Jan. 6 against either Ohio State or Auburn. Duke will learn its postseason fate when bowl selections are announced on Sunday evening.

More from SB Nation college football:

Championship weekend scores and TV schedule

SEC Championship breakdown | Big Ten title the main event

Updated bowl projections: Oklahoma takes NIU’s BCS spot

College football news | Malzahn’s new deal to pay $5.1M by the end

Long CFB reads | The night Baylor died in Stillwater

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.