Ohio State Claims National Championship with 42-20 Win Over Oregon
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a national championship record 246 and four touchdowns as Ohio State claimed the first College Football Playoff Championship with a 42-20 victory over Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX Monday night.
The Buckeyes, seeded 4th in the playoff, won despite turning the ball over four times during the course of the game. Oregon was only able to turn those turnovers into ten points as the Ducks were just 1-4 on touchdowns in the red zone.
Elliott scored on touchdown runs of 33, nine, two and one yards and helped the Buckeyes dominate time of possession, keeping the ball away from the vaunted Oregon offense. Elliott carried the ball 36 times in the game.
Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota threw for 333 yards on 24 of 38 passing and rushed for 32 yards, but failed to make the big plays when the Ducks needed them. Oregon converted just two of 12 third down attempts.
Oregon started as though their offense would slice through the Ohio State defense as the Ducks moved 75 yards in eleven plays. Mariota hit Keanon Lowe from eight yards away to give Oregon a 7-0 lead.
But Ohio State had an impressive 97 yard, 10 play drive with Elliott scoring from 33 yards out to tie the game and the Buckeyes scored again later in the quarter on quarterback Cardale Jones' one yard touchdown pass to Nick Vannett and the Buckeyes led 14-7 after one quarter.
Jones scored on a one yard run in the second quarter to pad the Ohio State lead to 21-7. The lead could have been even bigger, but the Buckeyes turned the ball over twice in Oregon territory in the second quarter.
The Ducks, who eschewed a field goal try and came up a yard short on fourth down earlier in the second quarter, got a 26 yard field goal from Aiden Schneider to cut the lead to 21-10 at the half.
Oregon got another turnover on the first possession of the third quarter after an interception and the Ducks finally cashed in as Mariota threw a 70 yard touchdown pass to Byron Marshall on the first play to trim the lead to 21-17. And, following a Jones fumble, the Ducks cut the lead to one point on a 23 yard field goal by Schneider.
Ohio State, however, dominated the ball the remainder of the third quarter as the Buckeyes embarked on a 12-play, 75-yard march with Eliott scoring from nine yards out to pad the lead to 28-20. The drive took 6:35 off the clock.
The Buckeyes put the game away on their first possession of the fourth quarter, moving 76 yards on nine plays, with Elliott's third touchdown of the night putting the icing on the cake. Ohio State got one final touchdown after Oregon failed on a fourth down play from its own 14 and once again it was Elliott scoring from a yard out for the final margin.
Jones hot 16-23 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted on a tipped pass and also fumbled once. Jones also had a touchdown rushing in the contest.
The Buckeyes dominated the time of possession, holding the football for 37:29. Ohio State wound up with 538 yards in offense, compared to 465 for Oregon.
The national title is the third for Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who won the title twice in the BCS era while coaching the Florida Gators.