Ezekiel Elliott Wins 2015 CFB National Championship Offensive MVP

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 13, 2015

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12:  Running back Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after scoring a 33 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Oregon Ducks during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Ezekiel Elliott ran for the most yards in NCAA football championship history, earning deserved offensive MVP honors in the Ohio State Buckeyes' 42-20 victory over the Oregon Ducks on Monday.

ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB

Ezekiel Elliott is named offensive MVP of the game #UOvsOSU http://t.co/traXRen3FT

The 19-year-old Elliott led the charge to deliver OSU its first national title under head coach Urban Meyer, displaying the same grace under pressure as former third-string signal-caller Cardale Jones did.

Ohio State Buckeyes @OhioStAthletics

The Chase: COMPLETE 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPS! http://t.co/85zLFnvtVO #GoBucks #UOvsOSU http://t.co/iMj7kgIa9u

Elliott wound up with 246 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns as the clear headliner in capping off the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Melissa Hoppert of The New York Times logged some of what Elliott said afterwards:

Melissa Hoppert @MHoppertNYT

"It's our dream; it came true. All the stuff we went through to get here, it's just crazy. It doesn't feel real." - OSU RB Ezekiel Elliott.

NBA superstar LeBron James did a nice job summarizing Elliott's big evening at AT&T Stadium in one tweet:

LeBron James @KingJames

That boi a BEAST!!!!!! #Zeke

Former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde expressed his support:

Carlos Hyde @elguapo

My lil bro @EzekielElliott too nice!! #RbU #GoBucks

Mike Hill of Fox Sports 1 felt Elliott had locked up the MVP award when the Buckeyes surged to a 21-10 halftime lead on the strength of his 11 carries for 98 yards and an electric 33-yard touchdown:

Mike Hill @ItsMikeHill

I think the MVP has been settled. Then again, it was probably settled at the half. #EzekielElliott

ESPN's John Buccigross added context to Elliott's amazing performance, as did ESPN Stats & Info:

Bucci Mane @Buccigross

Ezekiel Elliott joins Eddie George as the only Ohio State players with 3 200-yard rushing games in a season #espnstats

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Ezekiel Elliott: 1st Ohio State player with 220 rush yds, 3 rush TD in a game since Raymont Harris (1993 vs BYU, 235 yds, 3 TD)

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Ezekiel Elliott has broken Ohio State’s record for rushing yards in a bowl game (Raymont Harris, 235, 1993 Holiday Bowl vs BYU)

Elliott's hard running demoralized Oregon's front seven, as no one on the first or second level of the Ducks defense seemed to want any part of tackling Ohio State's punishing super sophomore.

Danny Kanell of ESPN gave credit to the Buckeyes' big young men in the trenches who paved the way for Elliott:

Danny Kanell @dannykanell

As great as Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones have been this offensive line needs a ton of credit too. Really impressive

Four giveaways made this game closer than it should have been, and Elliott is a huge reason why the Buckeyes were able to overcome their numerous errors to still win comfortably.

The NFL on ESPN looked ahead to Elliott's bright future:


Ezekiel Elliott will look pretty good in an NFL uniform in a few years. Impressive. Most impressive.

If Elliott weren't so young, he could easily be one of the first backs off the board in the upcoming NFL draft. Presuming he stays healthy as a junior, he could easily go pro in 2016 if he keeps playing at the level he's flashed in recent games.

Both Jones and the man who was previously ahead of him on the QB depth chart, J.T. Barrett, are slated to return next season, along with a ton of prominent contributors.

No matter who is under center, OSU can maintain a physical, explosive identity with Elliott leading a prolific 2015 rushing attack and position itself for a potential repeat.


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