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Kickoff return propels Florida State to title

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 12:25 p.m. MDT

Florida State's Levonte Whitfield (7) runs back a kickoff for a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif.  (David J. Phillip, Associated Press) Florida State's Levonte Whitfield (7) runs back a kickoff for a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (David J. Phillip, Associated Press)

PASADENA, Calif. — America, meet Kermit Whitfield.

In a game with a Heisman winner, a Heisman finalist and future NFL players everywhere, a true freshman pulled Florida State off life support and helped the Seminoles comeback for a 34-31 victory over Auburn in the final BCS championship game.

The Seminoles trailed 24-20 with less than five minutes remaining when Auburn kicked off following a 22-yard field goal. Whitfield, one of the fastest players in the country, caught the ball in the end zone and took off up the left seam. Teammate Karlos Williams made a block and an Auburn player got out of his lane to open a gaping alley.

Whitfield was never touched en route to a 100-yard kickoff return that gave the Seminoles their first lead since going up 3-0 in the first quarter.

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