By Ralph D. Russo ,AP
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ohio State won the first national title in college football’s playoff era, running over Oregon 42-20 on Monday.
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns for the Buckeyes, including three straight times in the second half after the Ducks pulled within a point in the third quarter.
Ohio State overcame four turnovers to give coach Urban Meyer his first title in his third season with the team following two championships at Florida.
Cardale Jones, who started the season as Ohio State’s third-string quarterback, accounted for two scores as the Buckeyes won their fifth national championship.
Under the new playoff system, which introduced official semifinals, Ohio State was the fourth and final seed. Some doubted whether the Buckeyes belonged in the semis, but they proved it Monday.
The Buckeyes overcame two injured stars and one awful early season loss against Virginia Tech to win their first national title since 2002. Back then, the Bowl Championship Series decided the top team at the end of the season �X usually.
Before that, it was up to The Associated Press and coaches’ polls to sort out which team was best, with a little help from the myriad bowl games. The Buckeyes have three of those championships, too.
Meyer matches Alabama’s Nick Saban as the only coaches to win national championship at two colleges. It’s taken just three seasons in Columbus for Meyer to put the Buckeyes �X and the Big Ten conference �X back on top, with a team that looks built to last.
Elliott was the offensive MVP and ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries. In the last three games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon, Elliott had 696 yards rushing.