Ohio State Buckeyes claim eighth National Championship with win over Oregon Ducks

Written by Danny Morales
Don Montague / The SkyBoat 

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot was named the MVP of the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott set a championship game record with 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns as the Ohio State Buckeyes claimed the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship with a 42-20 win over the Oregon Ducks on Monday at AT&T Stadium.

Elliott ran for 148 of his 246 yards during the second half, including three-straight rushing touchdowns after Oregon was able to make it a one-point game, as he went on his way to breaking Vince Young’s National Championship rushing record from the 2006 Rose Bowl.

His 246 yard and four touchdown effort wasn’t just a National Championship record, but it was also a Buckeyes bowl record. Elliott was named the game’s offensive MVP for his performance in the national title game.

“It’s starting to sink in,” said Elliott in the post-game press conference. “Just getting the MVP, I credit that to the big boys up front, actually everybody on the offense. Everybody does their job, and nothing would be possible without the team effort.

“Just setting that record, I feel blessed. All the great running backs that have come through Ohio State, Archie Griffin, Eddie George, Beanie Wells, just being able to accomplish something that all of them weren’t able to accomplish, it means the world to me, and I’m happy that I was able to carry on that lineage this season.”

Don Montague / The SkyBoat

Ohio State scored 21 unanswered points during the final 16 minutes of the game — all of which were on Elliott touchdown runs — after Oregon was able to cut the Buckeyes lead to 21-20 with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter. The Ducks wouldn’t score again after that, going for only 86 total yards during the final quarter.

“We really felt we could score anytime we want,” said Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones after the game. “That’s no disrespect to the Oregon defense, that’s just the time and dedication we put in on offense, starting up front.”

Jones finished the game 16-23 for 242 yards, a passing touchdown and an additional rushing touchdown, as the former third-string quarterback led his team to their third-straight victory with him under center after losing J.T. Barrett for the season before the Big Ten championship game.

Oregon’s only lead of the game came less than three minutes into the game when the Ducks took a 7-0 lead when Marcus Mariota hit Keanon Lowe with a seven-yard touchdown pass. That would be the only time Ohio State would trail the whole game.

The Ducks would make it as close as a one-point game in the third when they scored 13 unanswered points, but Oregon couldn’t stop Elliott or the rest of the Ohio State offense as they went on to win the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.

“He’s the most underrated back in America,” said Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer about his sophomore running back. “He’s one of the best post-contact yard guys I’ve ever been around, and on top of that he’s a great human being,

“We get him at least one more year, so I can’t wait.”

The Buckeyes defense held the Ducks to 2-12 on third down — none of which came in the second half — and forced Mariota to throw an uncharacteristic interception in the fourth quarter. Ohio State outgained Oregon 538-465 in total yards and had 164 more rushing yards than the Pac 12 champions.

With the win Ohio State’s National Championship total for football is now eight, with this being the first one with Urban Meyer as their head coach. The Buckeyes finish the season with a 14-1 record after losing their second game of the season to a mediocre Virginia Tech team.

Don Montague / The SkyBoat

Now Ohio State will allow themselves some time to enjoy the National Championship win before Spring camp starts the focus shifts to a rematch against those same Hokies who gave them their only loss of the 2014 season.

With the loss Oregon’s record fell to 13-2 to finish the season, and drops the Ducks to 0-2 all-time in National Championship games. And there is still a big decision to be made by Mariota on weather he will stay for his senior year or leave early for the NFL draft, but regardless of what the Hawaiian signal caller chooses to do he’s already left his mark at Oregon.

“He’s kind of one of those guys, around our neck of the woods, it’s kind of like Madonna or Cher or whatever, it’s Marcus,” said Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich of his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. “That’s the kind his name had reached. He’s an adjective,

“The impact that he’s had on the field is extremely significant; off the field, probably even bigger.”

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