After this past weekend’s loss to Michigan State, the reality show series that is THE Ohio State University football program, got even more exciting. Star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, made some on the spot postgame comments about the coaching staff saying, “We weren’t put in the right situations to win this game.” Head coach, Urban Meyer, put the feud to rest this week stating that Elliott came to the coaching staff and apologized for his actions. Elliott will face no disciplinary actions.
Okay, this has been completely blown out of proportion by the media, but, this has been brewing from the start of the season. Ezekiel Elliott was a standout last year but, a little overshadowed by three standout quarterbacks. Urban Meyer mishandled the quarterback situation completely at Ohio State. He had the luxury of Braxton Miller pulling out of the race and actually staying at the school to help win another national championship. From the start, Meyer should have picked one guy and went with him. They were rotating quarterbacks through their seventh game of the season and the play from this position was less than stellar. So, what is the best thing to have when your quarterbacks are struggling? Maybe the best damn running back in the country!
Zeke has not had nearly enough touches this season, in what will obviously be his last season at Ohio State. They have had a few close games this season, winning by 7 to Northern Illinois and Indiana. Elliott rushed for over 100 yards in both of those games, going for 274 in the Indiana win, but the problem lies in the fact that Ohio State forgets to run the ball when the game is close. Most of the yards in these games came early and they relied on their quarterbacks to win the game. This became so clear in the loss to Michigan State this past weekend. 13 carries for the best running back in the country is absurd and is the reason why Ohio State lost the game.
Can we really blame Ezekiel Elliott for his post game comments? He just lost his last game at The Horseshoe, did little to help his team win, and lost his chance at another national championship. It’s no surprise that he wanted the ball more. There is no reason for Urban Meyer to suspend him. That would be ignorant and Urban Meyer is no dummy. It would be arrogant of him to not take the blame for the loss. Elliot was flat out right. This is something that should be and was handled between the two men. Elliot knows he can not do that to his coaches and team and Meyer knows that play calling lost the game. It is over. Done. Keep in mind, Urban Meyer is 4 and 3 in 7 point games against Top 25 teams. You expect a guy who makes $6.4 million per season to find ways to win the close ones.
Now that the problem has been resolved, what is the best way to move forward? Feed Zeke! The final regular season game for Ohio State is against bitter rival, Michigan, on Saturday at the Big House. A conference championship game berth is on the line for the Buckeyes and you can bet that Jim Harbaugh wants nothing more than to set the tone in his first season as head coach and deny Ohio State of a conference championship. The Wolverines love to pound the football and there is no better way to beat a team than giving them a taste of their own medicine. You blew a chance at the College Football Playoff and a national championship, Urb. Do not make the same mistakes and leave yourself and your team shy of a Big Ten Championship.