Buckeyes leave marks on record book
Ohio State’s eighth national championship brought with it more than a couple of amazing numbers.
We lead it off with Cardale Jones, the Ohio State quarterback who threw for 242 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Those numbers would qualify as good, not great, in this day and age of supercharged offenses, but between the beginning of December and the middle of January he did something no Buckeye signal-caller ever had: Win three postseason games. The previous record of two was shared by Craig Krenzel, Mike Tomzack, Jim Karsatos and Terrelle Pryor.
Of course with the advent of the Big Ten championship game and the College Football Playoff players will start to have more opportunities to claim postseason victories, but it’s hard to call Jones a Bernie Williams-like compiler when he has thus far only started three games in his three years at Ohio State.
Urban Meyer became the fourth head coach to lead Ohio State to a national championship, joining Paul Brown (1942), Woody Hayes (1954, ’57, ’61, ’68, ’70) and Jim Tressel (2002). All are native Ohioans. Meyer remained perfect in national championship games, improving to 3-0.
At 14-1, Ohio State tied the school record for wins in a season set by Tressel’s undefeated title team.
Ohio State improved to 9-0 all-time against Oregon and for the fourth time downed the Ducks en route to a national championship. The 1957 Buckeyes topped Oregon in the Rose Bowl while the ’61 and ’68 squads scored regular season wins.
The Buckeyes gained 538 total yards, going over 500 for the 10th time this season and 19th time in 41 games in three seasons under Meyer. In the 11 seasons before Meyer returned to Columbus, the Buckeyes hit 500 yards 15 times.
Ohio State won despite committing four turnovers. The last time they committed four turnovers was the Orange Bowl last season against Clemson, a 40-35 loss. The last time the Buckeyes won when committing four turnovers was in overtime against Purdue in 2012.
Meyer improved to 14-5 against top 10 teams and 10-3 against teams in the top five.
Ezekiel Elliott set a new career high with 246 yards rushing. He broke Raymont Harris’ Ohio State record for yards rushing in a bowl game (235 against BYU) and became the first Buckeye to run for more than 200 yards in three consecutive games. The only Ohio State player with more than three 200-yard rushing games is Eddie George, who had five.
Elliott finished the season with 1,878 yards, a total second only to George’s 1,927 in 1995 when he won the Heisman Trophy. Elliott played two more games than George, however.
Overall the Ohio State offense finished with 672 points, breaking the mark of 637 set last season in one less game.
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