They played a weak schedule. They lost to a bad team. They didn’t have their starting quarterback. They lost they’re backup quarterback. They didn’t deserve to be in the playoff. They’re were lucky to beat Alabama. They…are National Champions. The Ohio State Buckeyes may have the most unique run to a championship of all time. Not only did they overcome all of the afore mentioned hurdles but they also had the tragic death of teammate Kosta Karageorge. At every turn things were going wrong for the Buckeyes, but they kept winning. Going into the Big 10 Championship Game Ohio State was viewed as an underdog against Wisconsin and having lost their Heisman candidate quarterback the previous week, Ohio State seems out of the 4 team playoff. But someone forgot to tell Urban Meyer’s team.
Enter Cardale Jones. The 3rd string quarterback that was thrust into the starting job in the biggest game of the season. He only threw for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to a 59-0 route of the Badgers. While we didn’t yet know if the performance was a fluke or if it was a sign of things to come, but what we did know was the win over Wisconsin was enough to propel Ohio State into the College Football Playoff where their opponent would be Alabama. Nobody outside of Columbus, Ohio gave the Buckeyes a chance to beat the #1 Crimson Tide.
Enter Ezekiel Elliot. Sure Cardale Jones had another 285 total yards and a score but Elliot showed out against one of the best defenses in the nation. At the end of the day, Elliot ran for 230 yards and a pair of scores, including an 85 yard dagger in the 4th quarter to preserve what would be a 42-35 win for Ohio State. They would be on their way to meet the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship Game.
Enter…The Buckeyes. Jones threw for 242 yards and a score and Elliot ran for 246 yards and 4 scores to power the Buckeyes to a 42-20 win over the Ducks giving the Buckeyes another National Title. But the story of the game was Ohio State’s domination in the trenches. The Ohio State offensive line mashed the Ducks’ front 7 all night and the Buckeyes’ front 7 held Oregon to just over half of their season average on the ground. The domination at the line of scrimmage coupled with key Oregon drops and penalties allowed the Buckeyes to overcome a -3 in the turnover battle to become National Champions, Head Coach Urban Meyer’s 3rd title. Not bad for a team that didn’t deserve to be there.