Ezekiel Elliott Could Be Ohio State’s X-Factor against Alabama

By George Yarberry
EFN National Director
Published: 12/31/2014

One of the biggest concerns to start the season for Ohio State was who will replace Carlos Hyde. This question has definitely been answered with the emergence of Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott could be the X-Factor on New Year’s Day for the Buckeyes, that could help them upset #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Elliott, a 6’0 225-pound sophomore running back, has been lights out for the Buckeyes. Elliott has carried the ball 217 times for 1,402 yards and has scored 12 touchdowns. He is also a threat out of the backfield in the passing game, recording 26 catches for 208 receiving yards.

All the talk this season has been centered around quarterbacks Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. These three players have been deserving of the hype, but Elliott’s play has really made the Buckeyes offense more explosive and balanced.

Elliott has stepped up huge in Ohio State’s biggest and most important games this season. In the Big 10 Championship game, Elliott rushed for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against Michigan State, he carried the ball 23 times for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 121 rushing yards and 2 more touchdowns against Michigan. These performances in crucial must win games have helped Ohio State to a 12-1 overall record.

Elliott is a running back that has speed, power and big play potential. This combination has hurt opposing teams and has made it difficult in trying to stop him. His ability to turn the corner and get up field is what really hurt Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Speed has always been a weapon for him, even in St. Louis at John Burroughs High School, where he won the state track championships in the 100M, 200M, 110 high hurdles and the 300 hurdles. He was also the football Player of the Year in St. Louis and ranked in the top 100 nationally during his senior season.

You can bet that Nick Saban has taken notice of Elliott’s ability and accomplishments this season and he will be a focal point in their defensive game plan. If Elliott can get it done against Alabama, the Crimson Tide could be in trouble, and his stock will sky rocket headed into next football season.