By Jonathan Deal
Auburn leads Florida State 21-10 after one half in the BCS National Championship game. Nick Marshall scored all three of Auburn’s touchdowns, including two through air.
Auburn answered Roberto Aguayo’s 35-yard lead to take a 7-3 in the midway through the first. Marshall’s 12-yard pass to Tre Mason on third down gave Auburn the only touchdown of the game in the first quarter.
The touchdown came from a screen pass to Mason that caught the Seminoles off guard and allowed Mason to run into the end zone untouched. Florida State began the game blitzing its corner to take away the Tigers’ read-option play. The screen to Mason took advantage of the Seminoles’ aggressive early in the game.
Auburn shredded the Seminoles defense again on Auburn’s next possession when Marshall connected with Melvin Ray for a 50-yard score. Ray found himself with nothing but green in front, beat a pair of Florida State safeties and ran into the end zone for Auburn’s second touchdown of the game.
Auburn’s defense forced its fourth consecutive three-and-out on the next possession. Through 18 minutes in the game, Marshall had a quarterback rating of 236.1 compared to the Heisman trophy winner’s 69.2
After a missed Cody Parkey field goal, Ben Bradley stripped Winston to set up Nick Marshal’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Florida State shifted the game’s momentum following Marshall’s third TD of the first half. FSU drove down the field in 11 plays, going 66 yards to pull within 21-10 with 1:28 to go in the half.
The Seminoles faked a punt on their own 37-yard line to set up a Devante Freeman’s 3-yard touchdown. Auburn’s defense forced the 4th and four, but for the second time in the first half, its special teams gave FSU a first down.