Ohio State Defies All Odds
Monday night, a team that previously lost to lowly Virginia Tech earlier in the season and was forced to start a third-string quarterback known for a controversial tweet about “playing school” won the inaugural CFB (College Football) Playoff National Championship.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked fourth going into the “postseason,” defied all odds and justified the new playoff system by defeating the Oregon Ducks 42-20 and taking home the first-ever CFB National Championship trophy.
“This will go down as one of the great stories in college football history,” Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer said.
Heading into the postseason, no one gave the Buckeyes a chance. They were up against the always-daunting Southeastern Conference champions, Alabama, and many people even thought that TCU should have taken their place. Even Meyer thought that at the beginning of this season, his team would not be able to pull it off.
“This team wasn’t supposed to do this,” Meyer said.
The third-string quarterback, redshirt Sophomore Cardale Jones, started just three games this season after injuries sidelined starting quarterback Braxton Miller and backup J.T. Barrett. Those three games were the Big Ten Conference Championship game (a 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin), the CFB Semifinal game (a 42-35 victory over Alabama) and the first-ever CFB National Championship game.
“He’s an unbelievable talent,” Green Bay Packers Center and former teammate of Jones’ at Ohio State said. “I was not surprised by what he’s done, honestly.”
Jones’ school-career in college has been a bumpy road, headlined by tweeting two years ago, “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL. We ain’t come here to play SCHOOL. Classes are POINTLESS.” Since then, there has been no real proof of Jones improving in school, but Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith seem to think he has.
“He’s come a long way,” Smith said. “He had a hard time going to class when he first came to school. Now he’s rocking it.”
Jones is not the only new star on the Ohio State team this season. Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott has been a constant star for the team the entire season. After Carlos Hyde graduated from Ohio State, they were left with a hole in the running back position that Elliott filled.
“[He’s a] monster,” Meyer said. “I love Zeke because he’s very humble, comes from a great family and deserves the credit. However, he’s the most underrated back in America. He’s one of the best post-contact-yard guys I’ve ever been around. On top of that, he’s a great human being, and we’ve got him for at least one more year, so I can’t wait to get back at it.”
Elliott, though a sophomore and an inexperienced player, was prepared with a plan of attack against Oregon.
“I knew going into the game we wanted to run the ball,” Elliot said. “We knew our offensive line was bigger and more physical than their defensive line. Our offensive line came out and played their butts off and paved the way for me.”
Ohio State’s young stars stole the national spotlight and made history, but Meyer doesn’t think they should stop there.
“We’re going to enjoy this one, but they’re going to get a new mission assignment here pretty soon: Let’s get back here again next year,” Meyer said.
Some information courtesy of foxsports.com, nytimes.com and espn.com