Ezekiel Elliott Runs To History, Carries Ohio State Football Past Indiana


Oct 3, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) is stopped by Indiana Hoosiers defensive back Chase Dutra (30) in the first half of their game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports

When Ezekiel Elliott attends the New York Athletic  club in December, Buckeye nation will remember Zeke’s trampling of Indiana as beginning of his Heisman campaign.

Elliott’s 2015 Big Ten debut was historic–and Ohio State needed every ounce of effort from their junior running back as Cardale Jones struggled again to ignite an offense he drove to national championship a season ago.

What type of day did Zeke have?

• He’s the ONLY player in the last 10 seasons to score three, 50-yard rushing touchdowns in one half.

• His 274 rushing yards are the second most in school history, as Zeke’s total tied Keith Byars mark against Illinois in 1984. Eddie George’s 314 yards in a single game remains the current record.

Back to Jones. He’s got a cannon for an arm, but he needs to find his touch. On two occasions, Jones missed open receivers in the red zone on plays that probably would’ve resulted in touchdowns. One was thrown Michael Thomas‘ way, the other went to Jalin Marshall.

Jones also had a an interception in the red zone, which resulted in a touchdown for the Indiana offense shortly thereafter.

Ultimately, his stat line wasn’t awful–18-of-27 for 245 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He did some nice things after plays broke down, but the bottom line remains the same for Cardale: This isn’t in’t what we saw against Wisconsin, ‘Bama and the Ducks–and it’s time to worry a little.

Behind the numbers:

1. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1988. This was a scare, but the Scarlet and Gray’s streak is alive and well at 27.

2. Penalty yards cost the Buckeyes big time, as Urban Meyer’s bunch was penalized eight times for 108 yards. Against a better team, this lack of preparation and concentration might’ve cost Ohio State a win.

3. Two touches. 2 yards. That’s the production Ohio State got from Braxton Miller when the Buckeyes were looking for anybody else to step up and help Ezekiel Elliott.

Miller only had two touches, with one rush going for 14 yards, while his lone reception resulted in a loss of 9 yards.

4. For the third week in a row, the Buckeyes lost the time of possession battle, 34:14-22:46.

5. Ohio State had 517 total yards and scored 31 points–and still the offense seems flat. Points were left off the board thanks to guys not making plays…Jones two incomplete red zone attempts come to mind. This must change as the competition gets tougher.

6. The Buckeyes had 10 plays of at least 20 yards, which included four touchdowns and a fumblerooski.

7. Two field goals on six first-half possessions. The offense needs to be more efficient.

8. The Buckeyes had been thought to be an elite defensive unit, but Indiana’s 402 yards of offense will change some minds.

Saturday Superlatives

Player of the Game: The special guest presenter, Capt. Obvious gladly gives this week’s award to Ezekiel Elliott.

Play of the Game: 75 yards and a cloud of Zeke…

Least  Valuable Player: Jalin Marshall. So much promise for Jalin entering the season. He’s shown flashes, but really hasn’t been able to hit that next gear. Hard to give a guy who caught six balls for 110 the LVP, but his two fumbles against Indiana were painful to watch.

Bottom line: Another performance not worthy of the No. 1 team in the county, but on the flip side, which of the other top teams can convincingly say they deserve to be No. 1. The national title still runs through Columbus.

Next: 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Browns Draft Jared Goff at No. 4

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