Elliott, Jones, Meyer Lead Buckeyes to Title
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Ohio State Buckeyes are winners of the first-ever College Football Playoff.
The Buckeyes claimed their fifth outright national championship as Ezekiel Elliott ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-20 triumph over Oregon in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State saw a 21-7 lead shrink to 21-20 midway through the third quarter before Elliott scored on runs of nine, two and one yards. His final TD put the game out of reach with 28 seconds left.
Elliott averaged an amazing 232 yards in his last three games.
Cardale Jones fared very well in just his third collegiate start for the Buckeyes, completing 16 of 23 passes for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Jones also scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter to put OSU ahead 21-7.
The Buckeyes overcame four turnovers to give Urban Meyer his first title in his third season at Ohio State.
Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota threw for the Ducks' only touchdowns, including a 70-yard strike to Byron Marshall. Both TDs came on Oregon's first possession of each half, but the Ducks' high-octane offense wasted too many drives while gaining 465 total yards.
Mariota was 24 of 37 for 333 yards and an interception in what is likely his final game at Oregon. He has until Thursday to decide if he'll skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
It's the third national championship for Meyer, who also won it with Florida in 2006 and 2008 under the old BCS system. Ohio State's previous national title came in 2002.
The Buckeyes reeled off 13 straight wins to end the year 14-1. A championship seemed highly unlikely after they lost to Virginia Tech in their second game of the season. Ohio State needed overtime to beat Penn State in late October before scoring at least 42 points in seven of their last eight games.
The Ducks finish 13-2.