Arkansas native Gus Malzahn’s first trip to the National Championship ended in heart break.
No. 2 Auburn lost to No.1 Florida State 34-31 in the BCS title game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Heisman Trophy winner and FSU quarterback Jameis Winston was 20-for-35 for 237 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining. Winston was named the game MVP.
FSU’s rally included Levonte Whitfield’s 100-yard kickoff return with 4:31 left to put Florida State ahead 27-24.
After an early FSU field goal to start the game, Auburn scored three straight touchdowns to take a 21-3 lead.
Florida State’s Devonta Freeman scored with 1:28 left in the first half to cut the deficit at intermission to 11.
The Auburn offense began to stall in the third quarter. That allowed Florida State to score 10 straight second half points to cut the lead to 21-20.
The game was the final championship contest under the current system, which featured the top two teams in the Bowl Championship Series poll. Next season, the top four teams will meet in a playoff where it will take two victories to win the title.