Another reminder why Florida State is so good late in a close game:

After an interception gave the Seminoles the ball near midfield, Florida State completed two passes and then tried a field goal from the usually unheard of distance (in a college game) of 54 yards.

And Roberto Aguayo’s kick, as time expired, was long enough, too. But it hit the left upright and bounced back, allowing Oregon to keep its 18-13 lead at the break.

It was Aguayo’s fourth miss in 52 career attempts for Florida State.

Oregon 18, Florida State 13 (36 seconds left in second quarter)

Anybody who thought Florida State was going to go away in this one hasn’t been paying attention all season.

The undefeated Seminoles just gave Oregon fans a glimpse at why they don’t want the game to be close in the final minutes.

A Seminole just stuck a tomahawk or a spear into the Rose Bowl turf.

Where’s Sam Handler when you need him?

Today’s Rose Bowl marks only the fourth time two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks will be competing on the same college football field.

Marcus Mariota of Oregon, this season’s winner, vs. Florida State’s Jameis Winston, last season’s winner.

A tale of the tape, comparing this season’s statistics:

Completion percentage:

Advantage Mariota, 68.3% to 65.4%.

Passing yards:

Advantage Mariota, 3,783 to 3,559.

Touchdown passes:

Advantage Mariota, 38 to 24.

Interceptions:

Advantage Mariota, who has had two passes picked, to 17.

Quarterback rating:

Advantage Mariota, 186.3 to 147.0.

Rushing yardage:

Advantage Mariota, 669 to 82.

Team record:

Advantage Winston, 13-0 to 12-1.

Days like this at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena remind me why there are so many Midwesterners who live in Southern California.

I gotta believe half of them were students at Big Ten Conference schools who came out to watch their team play on Jan. 1 and swore then that somebody they’d be back.

Not a cloud in the sky. Majestic mountains as the backdrop… And, oh yeah, a pretty great college football matchup now less than two hours from kickoff.

Florida State comes in with a record of 13-0, Oregon at 12-1. The combined 25-1 record is the second-best ever between teams competing in a Rose Bowl game, surpassed only by USC and Texas, who both came into the 2006 game with records of 12-0.

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