Ohio State has claimed the eighth national championship in school history, beating Oregon Monday, 42-20. With the win, Urban Meyer joins Nick Saban as the only coaches to win national titles with two different FBS teams.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 246 yards, the most in title game history, scoring four touchdowns and leading the Buckeyes to the first ever College Football Playoff Championship.
Oregon got on the board first with an explosive first drive, moving 75 yards in 2:39 and never seeing a third down. The Buckeyes took over soon after and tied it up on Ezekiel Elliott's 33-yard touchdown run, capping off a 97-yard drive that included three third- or fourth-down conversions.
After the Ducks dropped a big pass and were called for pass interference in the end zone, Cardale Jones found Nick Vannett for the one-yard touchdown and the lead. Jones punched it in from 1-yard out in the second quarter, giving the Buckeyes 21 unanswered points.
After two first half Ohio State turnovers netted zero Oregon points, the Ducks finally took advantage of one in the third. Cardale Jones' pass tipped out of Jalin Marshall's hands and into Danny Mattingly's, and Marcus Mariota found Byron Marshall on the very next play for the 70-yard score. A Jones' lost fumble (Ohio State's third of the day), gave the Ducks the ball right outside of the red zone, and a field goal made it a one-point game.
On the final play of the third quarter, Elliott burst through the Oregon defense for his second rushing touchdown of the game, surpassing 200 yards rushing. Elliott picked up two more touchdowns in the fourth, sealing the win.
Urban Meyer got doused:
Three things we learned
1. This was fun. The game, the playoff, everything about it. There was controversy about Ohio State's inclusion in the four-team field, but the Buckeyes more than proved their worth in their two playoff games. The two teams that would have likely made the final in the BCS model -- Alabama and Florida State -- were exposed in the semifinal round, giving us a truly intriguing and flat out fun final.
College football tried out something new this year, and it passed with flying colors. Let's do this thing again next year.
2. Put Ohio State at the top of your 2015 preseason ballot. Ohio State returns eight starters on offense, and will also have (as things stand now) quarterbacks Braxton Miller and JT Barrett back and healthy. They return seven starters on defense, including AP All-American defensive end Joey Bosa. Whoever ends up playing quarterback, they'll have Ezekiel Elliott back on running back and a whole lot of blue-chip players around them on offense.
The Buckeyes will likely have stiffer competition in their division with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, but nearly all of their key contributors return on both sides of the ball. Urban Meyer has built an absolute powerhouse in Columbus, and it doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon.
3. Oregon's probably not that far behind either. It's safe to assume Mariota leaves for the NFL, and he'll be one of five starters departing from the offense. On defense, the Ducks return either six or seven starters, depending on defensive lineman Arik Armstead's decision. Oregon will have to break in a new quarterback, but the return of skill players Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner (as well as injured receiver Bralon Addison) will help ease the transition of whomever takes the position in camp.
The Ducks will be facing a rival with a brand-new coach, as well. Former Wisconsin head man Gary Andersen abruptly left for Oregon State to replace longtime head coach Mike Riley, but the Beavers still have quite a ways to go before they can routinely compete with the Ducks.