Cleat Geeks

Ez E

Last season, as a sophomore running back, Ezekiel Elliot was expected to be a serviceable running back, but required some time in warming up.EE1

The talented high school back out of St. Louis, MO, had all the intangibles needed at the college level, except, a log jam in Columbus had a running back by committee feel. That is, until Elliot broke out in game no. 5 against the Cincinnati Bearcats – gashing their defense for 182 yards on 28 carries.

The early season began with fans uncertain of what to truly expect from Elliot. He was a fairly new face, only known to the diehards from their extensive research on YouTube and recruiting services. With the highly-touted freshman Curtis Samuel in the mix, along with seasoned vets Warren Ball and Rod Smith, Elliot averaged just 9 carries and 47 yards rushing to begin the year.

But, that’s when the coaching staff saw something.

Elliot went on a tear for the remainder of the season, capturing 20.5 carries, 144.8 yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game. His final stats – 273 carries, 1,878 yards (6.9 yards/carry), and 18 touchdowns – which also included him surpassing the 220+ yards mark against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon. Not to mention, his eight touchdowns in those 3 games.

Suffice it to say, Elliot had a pretty good 2014 campaign. He even entered 2015 as a 6/1 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but has seemingly been surpassed by LSU’s Leornard Fournette. However, that’s not because of what Elliot is not doing, it’s because of what Fournette is accomplishing.

Through eight weeks of play, Elliot is on pace to match his rushing totals of 2014 if he plays two less games this year (13 games). That would assume the Buckeyes missed out on the Big Ten Championship Game and the College Football Playoff.ElliotHeisman

However, if the Buckeyes do reach the Big Ten Championship and the National Championship Game (15 games), his pace will put him at 2,119 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns for the year.

In 2014, Elliot missed out on holding the Ohio State single season rushing record (1995 – Eddie George – 1,927 yards) by just 49 yards, but has another stab at it in 2015 with a great chance at doing so – especially with the possibility of more games being played. Except, Elliot also has the chance to do so in the same amount of games (13) as George did in 1995.

With the offense getting back into a groove with JT Barrett at quarterback, there is really no reason to believe Elliot’s performance will slow down. Barring injury, we may just be looking at one of the greatest running backs to don the Scarlet and Grey uniform in the programs history – putting him in great company.

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