Last night saw one of the most intensively anticipated climax to a college football season to date with the final of the first ever college football playoff. The Oregon Ducks were matched up and favored over the Ohio State Buckeyes who gathered in Texas at the Dallas Cowboys home stadium, AT&T Stadium.
The first quarter began with the to be expected, offensive blast from the season-long dominant Ducks. Up 7-0 after their first drive, Oregon fans were feeling optimistic. The Ezekiel Elliott checked in to the game.
Elliott was a honorable mention running back in the Big10, a fact that leaves this sports fan flabbergasted as he set a National Championship record for rushing in a game at 246 yards on 36 carries. Early in the game it seemed as though Oregon had him under control by stacking the box with 8+ defensemen. As the second quarter came around, Elliott took over and started lashing enormous gains open from his supreme vision and speed, coupled with poor gap control by the Ducks defense.
What is even more impressive is that this is not an anomaly from Ezekiel Elliott, this is the third game in a row that he rushed for more than 220 yards. It is not like he has played easy teams the past few games either, he has totalled 696 yards against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, some of the best teams in the country.
Buckeye nation is not surprised at their national championship win as in the last three seasons, Ohio State has compiled a 38-3 record under the direction of former Florida Gators coach, Urban Meyer. This guy has a knack for winning as he picks up where he left off when he departed from Florida. This coach has turned a third string quarterback, and a first year running back into a national champion, and did so with some style points.
Oregon on the other hand suffers yet another postseason collapse after a stellar season. Some jitters were noticed early in the game as key third down passes were dropped on consecutive drives. In total three third downs were floundered from dropped passes. Other than those instances, Mariotta played strong, throwing two touchdowns and completing 24-37 for 333 yards with 39 rushing yards. With Mariotta departing this year for the NFL, who will take the reigns in the coming season? A better question will be, who will be able to give them as good a chance to make it to the national championship as this super efficient, high first round draft pick.
Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, enjoy it!
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