Ohio State has won the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game, convincingly beating Oregon 42-20 in Dallas.
If it wasn’t for four Ohio State turnovers, it would have been even worse.
Ohio State was the better, more physical team. They ran for 296 yards, including a record 246 yards from running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Ducks just couldn’t stop Elliott, who seemed to pick up a first down every time he touched the ball in the second half. Ohio State led 21-10 at halftime. Oregon closed the gap to 21-20 after a pair of third quarter turnovers, but Ohio State ran away with the game after that.
Cardale Jones, the third-string quarterback who was making just his third-career start, was fantastic aside from the turnovers. The 6’5″, 250-pound QB completed 16 of 23 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. When no one was open, he took off running, often finishing his carries by bulldozing an Oregon defender.
On one run in the third quarter, Jones appeared to be stopped short of the first down, but he just rammed right through 310-pound Oregon nose tackle Alex Balducci.
It summed up the game:
Ohio State came into the game as a six-point underdogs. They were underdogs all year: first when starting quarterback Braxton Miller got hurt before the season, then after they got killed at home against Virginia Tech, again when second-string quarterback J.T. Barrett got hurt before the Big Ten Championship game, and especially against Alabama and Oregon with a third-string quarterback in the playoff.
They overcame all of those obstacles, improving as the season went along and peaking at the perfect moment.
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