The No. 1 ranked Seminoles pulled out the victory with 13 seconds left on a two-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin to trump a 37-yard touchdown run by Tre Mason with 1:19 left to put the Tigers on top by four points.
"I am just mad we couldn't finish it off," senior safety Ryan Smith said. "I know every player on our team gave it his all.
"I am proud of the guys on how we battled back from last year, but because we didn't finish it off that is something that will always bother me."
Senior defensive end Nosa Eguae, like Smith, was obviously hurting emotionally after the game. "That was tough," he said, repeating the comment for emphasis.
"This team has a group of fighters on it and the boys that are coming back on the team are going to fight next year," he added. "All the guys on this team learned how to fight. You learn so much when you face adversity. We got this far. We just came up a couple plays short."
The Tigers came up just short of having the biggest turnaround season in college football history going from 3-9 to 12-1.
"I am sure here soon I will be able to look back and appreciate it for what it was, but for now I am just thinking about this loss,"?Eguae said.
Mason, who broke Bo Jackson's single-season rushing record on his fourth quarter touchdown run to put the Tigers on top, said after the game he hasn't decided whether or not he will enter the NFL Draft or return for his senior season.
"I am going to talk with my family and see what is best for my future," said Mason, who rushed for 195 yards on 34 records. "It is good to have the record, but there are two sides to the story. It is upsetting that we lost this game."