Tre Mason believed he had pulled off the last miracle that Auburn would need to win a national championship. He then celebrated accordingly.
With less than 90 seconds remaining in the BCS National Championship Game, Auburn's standout running back bulldozed his way through a phalanx of Florida State defenders to score a go-ahead 37-yard touchdown. That highlight run capped an 8-play scoring drive that covered 75 yards and staked No. 2 Auburn to a 31-27 lead over No. 1 Florida State with 1:19 remaining in regulation. Mason's run also provided an emphatic response to the 100-yard kickoff return touchdown that Seminoles wide receiver Kermit Whitfield had scored just minutes earlier to grab the lead away from his Tigers.
One of six finalists invited to New York City for the presentation of the 79th Heisman Trophy in December, Mason celebrated his late touchdown by striking the signature stiff-arm pose associated with the award. With the winner of the honor playing quarterback for Florida State, Mason's title celebration seemed to be his way of letting voters know that they had gotten it wrong.
WATCH: Tre Mason's Touchdown And Celebration
Unfortunately for Mason, Jameis Winston returned to the field after the ensuing kickoff and showed why he was the one who took home the most prestigious individual prize in college sports. Florida States' redshirt freshman quarterback piloted a game-winning drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass with just 13 seconds remaining in the game.
"I apologize to the Auburn family and the rest of the fans that we didn't finish," an emotional Mason said after his team's 34-31 defeat. "We didn't finish what we started. That's a great team, and they deserved to win. They found a way to win at the end, and I'm happy for them."
The 37-yard touchdown run was the final carry in a 195-yard performance by Mason. That staggering tally pushed his season tally to 1,816 yards, good enough to break Bo Jackson's school record. Jackson racked up 1,786 yards during his Heisman-winning 1985 campaign. The school record provided little comfort for Mason after the loss.
"It's a blessing to surpass his yards that he put up, but it would be great to do that with holding the crystal ball in the air, Mason lamented. "But that's just the way it is."