Florida State and Auburn treated us to one of the best national title games in recent memory across any sport, with the Seminoles emerging on top after a hard-fought 34-31 victory. The game's full highlight package:
Here are the dramatic last five minutes of the game, handily condensed into a one-minute burst.
Now let's get to the individual big plays. Florida State would score first, taking a brief lead that they would not hold again until the fourth quarter.
Auburn got on the board next, taking the lead through the air. Nick Marshall was very effective for much of the game, and scored his first touchdown on this 12-yard pass to Tre Mason.
Early in the second quarter, Marshall struck again, taking advantage of a giant lapse in the Florida State coverage to find Melvin Ray for this 50-yard score. Entering the game, Ray had caught just four passes for 58 yards this season. It was his only catch of the night.
Cody Parkey missed this close field goal in the second quarter, which didn't seem all that important at the time, but ended up covering the difference in the game.
Heisman winner Jameis Winston struggled for most of the game, as Auburn got repeated pressure on the quarterback. Here, he was forced out of the pocket by the pass rush, fumbling the ball away.
On the ensuing Auburn drive, Marshall took to the ground for his third total touchdown of the game, running it in from four yards out to make it 21-3 and firmly put the thoughts of a blowout in everyone's minds.
Florida State had other ideas, and this fake punt (which the coaches on ESPNews predicted) on fourth-and-four was key to making sure the Seminoles scored before the half.
The strategy worked, as Devonta Freeman ran in from three yards out to make the halftime score a much more manageable 21-10.
After Aguayo's second field goal of the game, the Seminoles found themselves down a score and needing a big break. They got one, with some help from Marshall, who floated a pass down the right side. P.J. Williams made a great interception, giving Florida State the chance to tie it up.
Two minutes later, Winston found Chad Abram for the 11-yard score, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty forced FSU to kick the extra point and trail by one.
Auburn kicked a field goal on their next drive to make it 24-20, and then Levonte Whitfield was shot straight out of a cannon on this incredible 100-yard kick return, taking Florida State's first lead since the opening quarter of the game.
The Tigers responded, casually moving down the field and still using the running game despite the dwindling clock. Mason capped off the drive with this astonishing 37-yard run, bowling over defenders on his way to the end zone and the lead.
With just over a minute left to play, Winston orchestrated the drive Florida State fans had all been waiting for, completing six of seven passes on his way to this breathtaking touchdown toss to Kelvin Benjamin, winning the game for the Noles.
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