Two of the most talented college football teams went head to head in this year’s 2015 National Championship game. While many anticipated the victory of the Oregon Ducks over the Ohio State Buckeyes, the opposite was true in this year’s game. Ohio State’s Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott helped lead the victory in the very first College Football National Championship, presented by AT&T, leaving Marcus Mariota and the rest of the Oregon Ducks disappointed.
This season, Ohio took quite a few setbacks, resulting in many assumed predictions of how this game would pan out, including Braxton Miller suffering an injury very early in August, causing many to have doubts about the team’s potential without their Heisman-trophy-winning quarterback. The team also had a harsh loss at home to Virginia Tech in September, as well as another quarterback, J.T. Barrett, suffering an injury. The team was definitely considered the underdog in this year’s playoffs as the fourth and final seed. However, their disadvantages seemed to only motivate the players even more toward their path to the National Championship.
ESPN’s statement from Jones reads as follows.
“Late August, around camp, everybody counted us out when our Heisman Trophy quarterback went down, and then when the first College Football Playoff rankings came out, we was like No. 16 or 17… Long story short, we weren’t supposed to be here.”
Elliott, a sophomore, was named the offensive MVP. His four rushing touchdowns certainly helped the team in their success. Jones, a sophomore, who originally had been the replacement quarterback due to Barrett’s injury in August, passed for 242 yards and a touchdown, proving in this year’s game that he could play well against Mariota, the Heisman winner.
One of the best running backs in Ohio State’s history, Eddie George, commented on Elliott’s transformation throughout the season.
“He was solid, but I see a totally different player now, where he’s controlling games and taking over games, and that’s the sign of greatness to come… I mean, he’s only a sophomore and the run that he’s having is going to go down in history as one of the greatest runs possibly ever at Ohio State.”
Overall, the game was close. However, when Buckeyes quarterback Jones ran up the middle and both Oregon’s Alex Balducci and Sam Kemp attempted the tackle, neither player could take down the 250-pound sophomore quarterback.
The game was fierce, but Oregon gave credit to Ohio State’s players. According to the OregonLive, Ducks receiver Byron Marshall said the following.
“We tried to play ours, but it didn’t really work out. They just really balled out and deserved to win this one.”
With a final score of 42-20, this game definitely goes down in history as one to remember, especially for the players and fans of Ohio State.