By Chad Fuller
If you’re an Ohio State fan, you can recall the Buckeye’s defeat by Virginia Tech in September. As well as when Ohio’s Heisman Trophy-winning Quarterback, J.T. Barrett, fractured his right ankle in November. Even more so with placing No. 16 on the Week 10 CFP Rankings in October.
These events are sufficient reasoning to assume the obvious: Ohio State’s season was over… or at least we thought. Every time a setback occurred, the Buckeyes rose to the occasion. This was even more prominent with their victory over the Oregon Ducks on the National Playoffs in the Rose Bowl.
Many people believed that the Buckeyes never had a chance at the playoffs. This was a reasonable assumption, and I believe you could call Ohio State the “underdogs” of College Football. Their undeniable victory proved how much dedication means in times like this.
The Oregon Ducks got on the right foot early, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Their remarkable season, with only 1 loss to Arizona leading up to the playoffs, showed signs of an easy victory. Something about the challenge motivated Ohio State to pursue victory. The Buckeyes scored a little bit past the halfway mark of the 1st Quarter, with #15 RB, Ezekiel Elliot, making a 33-yard run for the first touchdown by Ohio. Ohio scored again in the 1st Quarter, around the 1-minute mark, with a 1-yard pass by the 2nd String QB Jamarco Jones (Replacing the injured Barrett) to Tight End Nick Vannett.
With a score of 7-14 going into the 2nd Quarter, Oregon needed to step their game up. With a 1-yard run from the Buckeye’s own Quarterback, Ohio State’s score went up to 21. Now, the Ducks would really have to step their game up. Unfortunately for Oregon, the Buckeyes proved a stronger team this season. More importantly, their defensive line made it nearly impossible for the Oregon Ducks to convert third downs. However, Oregon’s place kicker #41 Aidan Shneider managed an impressive 26-yard field goal in the second quarter, bringing the half-time score to a shocking 10-21. The teams went into half time with the Buckeyes still in the lead.
The Oregon Ducks got the first score of the second half, with a huge 70-yard pass to #9 Running Back Byron Marshall. Schneider also got the Ducks another field goal. This brought the score to 20-21, with Ohio barely in the lead. It seemed as if Oregon’s comeback would lead to victory.
Suddenly at the last minute of the third quarter, Elliot managed a 9-yard run. He launched the Buckeyes to 20-28. He also managed to make 2 more running touchdowns. The final score of the CFP National Playoffs at the Rose Bowl was 20-42.
Over the whole of the game, OSU’s Running Back Elliot managed to run a total of 246 yards. He added 4 touchdowns to his season statistics. He set career highs in rushing for his last 3 games of the season, also setting Championship records for rushing, rush yards, and rushing touchdowns. Elliot is one of many NFL Draft Picks we can look forward to in the near future.
Of the many accomplishments from Ohio State’s season, the Buckeyes became the first college in football history to defeat all three Heisman Trophy vote-getters, in the same season. They’ve beaten two Heisman Trophy winners, O.J. Simpson and Marcus Mariota. Urban Meyer, Ohio’s coach, has become the fourth head coach to win a national championship at Ohio State. Although the Oregon Ducks came up a tad bit short this season, their accomplishments beforehand should not be ignored. Their stunning season with only 2 losses, including the Buckeyes game, is a season worth remembering.
Whether you’re an Oregon Ducks fan or an Ohio State Buckeyes fan, the fact is undeniable: Ohio made a huge comeback this season. From No. 16 on the week 10 CFP Rankings, to No. 1 beating Oregon State, the team put in hard effort that we can all relate to. Marshall of Oregon later went on to say “[Ohio’s] front seven were unbelievable” and that “They played a good game.”