Ohio State has claimed it’s title as National Champions after defeating favorited Oregon in the first ever college football playoff championship game, 42-20.
The Buckeyes weren’t supposed to win this one. Many even thought Ohio State didn’t deserve the fourth and final playoff spot in the new NCAA football playoff format in it’s first year of implementation. Despite the critics who point squarely to the Buckeyes two big BCS Championship losses in 2007 and 2008 and poor showings against tougher conferences like the SEC, Ohio State now calls themselves National Champions.
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Ohio State started the year losing their Heisman hopeful quarterback Braxton Miller before the season began. Throughout the regular season, back up J.T. Barrett stepped up and led the team to a 14-1 season, going 8-0 in the Big Ten, but broke his ankle in the regular season final. The Buckeyes had no choice but to turn to Cardale Jones; a redshirt sophomore who had yet to start a game at the college level.
No one anticipated the unproven Jones would go on to defeat perennial contender and Big Ten rival Wisconsin 59-0 followed by an upset of the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide for the right to battle Oregon for the National Title. Faced against this year’s Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, many did not think Ohio State had a chance. It would be a battle between one of college footballs best offenses in Oregon verses one of the best defenses in Ohio State.
The Ducks struck first and fast, as their fast-paced and efficient offense was built to do. From that point on, it was all Buckeyes as they rattled off 21 unanswered points. Ohio State’s running game overwhelmed the Ducks defense as running back Ezekiel Elliot racked up 246 yards and accounted for four of the Buckeyes six touchdowns in the game.
On the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes defense kept the Ducks on lockdown after their opening touchdown, allowing only a single touchdown and two field goals for the remainder of the game. Mariota was never able to get comfortable in the pocket and his receivers dropped a handful of crucial third down passes and failed to capitalized on four Ohio State turnovers; another credit to the Buckeyes defense.
The win gives Ohio State their fifth outright national championship in school history. The Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer celebrates his third national title, his first with Ohio State after winning two as head coach of the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2008.