Overlooked all season, OSU’s Elliott proves he’s one of the nation’s best RBs
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott has made a mockery out of postseason awards in college football. He flew under the radar in the Big Ten because of Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. Even Indiana’s Tevin Coleman received more attention in 2014.
But Elliott stood alone late Monday night as the offensive MVP of the CFP National Championship. He topped off one of the greatest three-game stretches in the history of college football with 246 yards and four touchdowns to lead Ohio State to a 42-20 win over Oregon.
"He’s a monster," said Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.
The Ducks would have to agree with that assessment after being steamrolled by Elliott. Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones played brilliantly in these final three games, but
Elliott also carried a lot of the load. His 33-yard dash for the end zone with 4:36 left in the first quarter tied the game, 7-7. And after big gains, he gave the "feed me" sign to his coaches.
They obliged by giving him 36 carries. It was his third straight 200-yard game. He put 230 yards on an Alabama team that was allowing 88.7 coming into the Sugar Bowl. Ducks coaches and players said he’d be their first priority, but he ran over them anyway.
"This is a surreal moment," said Elliott, a 19-year-old sophomore who grew up wanting to play at Missouri. "After all we went through, this is crazy. It doesn’t feel real."
Jones and Elliott threw confetti at each other while sitting at the postgame news conference with Meyer. The coach simply shook his head and smiled. He’ll have both players for at least one more season. And both of them should be Heisman candidates heading into 2015.
After Oregon had pulled to within 21-20 in the third quarter, Elliott went to work. He ripped off an 11-yard run to give the Buckeyes first-and-goal on the 9-yard line. On the next play, he knocked two Ducks at the goal line for the score. Elliott honored the Cavs’ LeBron James in pushing his palms toward the ground while celebrating.
"He said something nice about me this afternoon, so I wanted to give him a shoutout," Elliott told FOX Sports Southwest.
Elliott wears his jersey like a crop-top, but he insists it’s not to show off his abs. He’s constantly tucking the front of his jersey under his pads. Maybe the sight of those abs intimidated the Ducks.
Whatever the case, Elliott has established himself as the most dominant tailback in the country. And he and Jones will be back for more next season.
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