BCS National Championship 2014: Live Game Grades, Analysis for FSU

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2014

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Running back Devonta Freeman #8 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates after a three-yard rush for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers in the second quarter of the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on January 6, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Final: Florida State 34, Auburn 31

Florida State (14-0) won its first national title since 2000 by pulling off an epic comeback to down Auburn (12-2) in the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Final stats are available at NCAA.com.

Check out our grades and analysis below.

Florida State Seminoles Live Game Grades
Position UnitFirst-half gradesFinal grades
Pass OffenseCB
Run OffenseB+B
Pass DefenseDC
Run DefenseCB-
Special TeamsA-A
BCS National Championship Game vs. Auburn

Final game analysis for the Florida State Seminoles:

Pass Offense: Jameis Winston shook off a horrible first half to show why he won the Heisman Trophy, finishing with 237 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final seconds. Finding secondary receivers was key to his improvement.

Run Offense: The Seminoles outperformed Auburn's vaunted zone-read run game for three quarters, with Devonta Freeman gaining valuable yards throughout the night. They averaged 4.8 yards per carry, to 4.4 for Auburn.

Pass Defense: After getting torched in the first half, FSU started playing Auburn's receivers tighter, taking Nick Marshall's targets away. P.J. Williams' second-half interception was huge.

Run Defense: The front seven was able to mostly contain Marshall and Tre Mason until the fourth quarter, when a noticeably winded Tim Jernigan had to sit out. After that, Auburn ran roughshod.

Special Teams: Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield gave FSU fans one of the greatest moments in school history with his lightning-quick 100-yard kickoff return that completely changed the game.

Coaching: Jimbo Fisher quickly realized Winston was struggling and adjusted the game plan to take some pressure off of him. Once Winston settled down, he gave him back the reins.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Wide receiver Marcus Davis #80 of the Auburn Tigers is tackled by defensive back Jalen Ramsey #13 of the Florida State Seminoles during the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on January 6, 2014 in Pasade
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Florida State Seminoles

Pass Offense: Jameis Winston was erratic and tentative until the final drive. The offensive line is letting Auburn players get their hands all over him, and it's rattling the Heisman Trophy winner. His lost fumble on a run didn't help, either.

Run Offense: Once Winston stopped passing and started running, things opened up. Devonta Freeman's had solid runs so far, slipping tackles to get extra yardage.

Pass Defense: FSU has had great pass rush, but that's left the secondary exposed and unable to handle the increased passing attack Auburn has implemented. There have been way too made wide-open receivers.

Run Defense: Tre Mason is already near 100 yards, as FSU hasn't been able to slow down the read-option plays on a consistent basis. Nick Marshall is working the edges well when he keeps it.

Special Teams: The 'Noles took a huge gamble with the fake punt late in the second quarter down 18 points, but the risk paid off with a touchdown.

Coaching: Jimbo Fisher eventually adjusted the game plan to try not to have Winston try to do too much with his arm. Defensive adjustment must come soon.