2015 College Football Playoff National Championship
|2015 College Football Playoff National Championship|
|College Football Playoff|
|Date||January 12, 2015|
Offensive: #15 RB Ezekiel Elliott, So. Ohio State|
Defensive: #23 S Tyvis Powell, So. Ohio State
|Favorite||Oregon by 7|
|National anthem||Lady Antebellum|
|Referee||Greg Burks (Big XII)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Joe Schad (ESPN Radio)|
|Nielsen ratings||18.9 (33.4 million viewers)|
The 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship was a bowl game that determined the consensus national champion of NCAA Division I FBS college football for the 2014 season, which took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015. It was the culminating game of the 2014–15 bowl season as the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship, replacing the BCS National Championship Game. The national title was contested through a four-team bracket system, the College Football Playoff, which replaced the previous Bowl Championship Series.
The game was played between the winners of two designated semi-final bowl games played on January 1, 2015: the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes, who upset No. 1 Alabama 42–35 in the 2015 Sugar Bowl, and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, who defeated previously unbeaten No. 3 Florida State 59–20 in the 2015 Rose Bowl. This was the first championship game since 2006 that did not feature at least one SEC team, and the teams' first meeting since the 2010 Rose Bowl, which the Buckeyes won 26–17.
The Ohio State Buckeyes won the game, 42–20, marking the first national championship awarded under the CFP system. Following the game, the AP Poll and Coaches' Poll also named Ohio State as their top team of the season, marking Ohio State's first national championship since 2002 and their 8th overall.
AT&T Stadium (capacity 80,000) was announced as the host site in April 2013. Arlington and Tampa (Raymond James Stadium) were the only cities to submit hosting bids for the inaugural title game.
Each team received 20,000 tickets. Premium seat packages for the event cost $1,899 to $3,899 apiece. The packages can include hotel accommodations, game tickets, parking access, pregame hospitality, and an on-field postgame experience.
College Football Playoff announced that 1,000 tickets will be made available for purchase to fans who have signed up for a random drawing by May 1, 2014. On March 25, 2014, Dr Pepper was announced as the official championship partner and presenting sponsor of the new College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy.
Before the game, students dressed in all black from the Episcopal School of Dallas and Saint Philip's School held 15 ft. tall banners of every collegiate football team and marched to Fall Out Boy's "Legends." The students then held out a large American Flag while country music band Lady Antebellum performed the "Star Spangled Banner." The students ran off the field carrying the flag. One student tripped while running off and was dragged hanging onto the flag by the rest. then helped him up off field.
2015 College Football Playoff
|Semifinals||2015 Championship Game|
|January 1 – Sugar Bowl|
|4||Ohio State||42||January 12 – National Championship|
|January 1 – Rose Bowl||2||Oregon||20|
The teams playing for the national championship were the winners of semifinal bowl games held on January 1, 2015. The semifinal games were the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The semifinal participants were chosen and ranked 1–4 by the 13-member playoff selection committee, with 1 playing 4 and 2 playing 3.
Ohio State was 20–24 all-time in bowl games. The Buckeyes made their fifth visit to the state of Texas, having won 4 previous games and outscoring four different schools 120–33. Ohio State, all-time, came into the game with an 8–0 record against Oregon.
Oregon is 13–15 all-time in bowl games. The Ducks are 6–4 in Texas having won three straight games and played their third game in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex (Dallas, Fort Worth and now Arlington).
Starting lineupsSelected in an NFL Draft (number corresponds to draft round)
† = 2014 All-American
|Devin Smith 2||WR||Byron Marshall|
|Taylor Decker 1||LT||†Jake Fisher 2|
|Billy Price 1||LG||Hamani Stevens|
|Jacoby Boren||C||†Hroniss Grasu 3|
|Pat Elflein 3||RG||Cameron Hunt|
|Darryl Baldwin||RT||Tyrell Crosby 5|
|Jeff Heuerman 3||TE||Evan Baylis|
|Evan Spencer 6||WR||Dwayne Stanford|
|Cardale Jones 4||QB||†Marcus Mariota 1|
|Ezekiel Elliott 1||RB||Royce Freeman 3|
|†Joey Bosa 1||LDE||DE||Arik Armstead 1|
|Michael Bennett 6||DT||NG||Alex Balducci|
|Adolphus Washington 3||DT||DE||DeForest Buckner 1|
|Steve Miller||RDE||OLB||Tony Washington|
|Darron Lee 1||SLB||ILB||Rodney Hardrick|
|Curtis Grant||MLB||ILB||Joe Walker|
|Joshua Perry 4||WLB||OLB||Tyson Coleman|
|Doran Grant 4||CB||Chris Seisay|
|Eli Apple 1||CB||Troy Hill|
|Vonn Bell 2||S||Erick Dargan|
|Tyvis Powell||S||Reggie Daniels|
The game began with the Ducks receiving the opening kickoff. Oregon drove down the field and scored a touchdown on their first drive, giving them a 7-0 lead early. The Buckeyes were forced to punt on their first drive. However, Oregon could not do anything in response, as they had to punt on their next drive as well. The punt pinned Ohio State down in their own endzone at the 5 yard line. On 3rd and 8, Cardale Jones completed a 26 yard pass to wideout Corey Smith for a 1st down to give Ohio State better field position. Ohio State then converted a 4th and 3 from the Oregon 38 yard line to keep the drive alive. On the very next play, Ezekiel Elliott scored a touchdown which saw him break several tackles to tie the game at 7. On the Ducks next drive, on 3rd and 12, freshman wide receiver Dwayne Stanford dropped a wide open pass along the sidelines. Ohio State then returned the Oregon punt to the Ducks 46 yard line to give them excellent field position. After a pass interference call gave Ohio State the ball at the goalline, Ohio State capitalized on the field position after Jones found tight end Nick Vanett from a yard out to give the Bucks a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Oregon was forced to punt on their next drive, and Ohio State got the ball back. However, the Buckeyes committed the first turnover of the game on a mishandled exchange between Jones and Elliott. After Oregon got down near the goalline, they failed to punch it in from the 1 yard line, and Ohio State got the ball at their own 1 yard line. However, the Buckeyes committed another turnover after wide receiver Corey Smith lost a fumble at the Oregon 11-yard line. But once again the Ducks could not capitalize on the turnover and once again had to punt. Ohio State was able to score another touchdown on a Jones sneak from a yard out to give them a 21-7 lead. Oregon was able to kick a field goal as the half came to a close, making the score 21-10 at halftime.
Ohio State got the ball to begin the second half and drove into Oregon territory. However, Jones threw an interception at the Oregon 30 yard line. The Ducks capitalized on this turnover after Marcus Mariota found wide receiver Byron Marshall for a 70-yard touchdown to bring the Ducks within 21-17. Ohio State then committed another turnover after Jones lost a fumble in which he was going into his throwing motion. The fumble foreshadowed Jameis Winston's fumble against the Ducks in the Rose Bowl a week earlier. The Ducks managed to kick a field goal to make the score 21-20. The Buckeyes then began to pull away, as Elliott scored a touchdown as time expired in the 3rd quarter to make the score 28-20. After the teams exchanged punts several times, Elliott scored another touchdown, his 3rd of the game, to make the score 35-20. The Buckeyes then got the ball back late in the game, and after an Oregon offsides penalty gave the Buckeyes the ball on the 1-yard line, the Buckeyes were able to ice the game with another Elliott touchdown. The final play of the game saw Oregon commit their only turnover of the game on a Marcus Mariota interception.
|Time of possession||22:31||37:29|
|Ohio State passing|
|Ohio State rushing|
|Ohio State receiving|
The game was televised by ESPN with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit as English commentators, and Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi as English sideline reporters and on ESPN Deportes with Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega as Spanish commentators. ESPN revived the Megacast coverage it had employed during the 2014 BCS National Championship Game: other ESPN networks (including ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, and ESPN3) supplemented coverage with analysis and additional perspectives of the game.
The game was broadcast on nationwide radio by ESPN Radio with Mike Tirico and Todd Blackledge on the call, with Holly Rowe and Joe Schad on the sidelines. Locally, the game was broadcast on radio by the Oregon IMG Sports Network flagshiped by KUGN (NewsTalk 590) in Eugene, Oregon with Jerry Allen (play-by-play) and Mike Jorgensen (color commentator), and by the Ohio State IMG Sports Network flagshiped by WBNS-AM (1460 ESPN Columbus) and WBNS-FM (97.1 The Fan) in Columbus, Ohio with Paul Keels (play-by-play), Jim Lachey (color commentator) and Marty Bannister on the sidelines.
Following the game, fans took to the streets of Columbus, Ohio, to celebrate. Fans tore down a temporary goalpost at Ohio Stadium. 89 fires were reported, and members of the Columbus Police Department used tear gas to disperse crowds. Just over a year later, Elliott, who had entered the draft early following his junior season, was brought back to AT&T Stadium when the Dallas Cowboys selected him with the 4th overall pick.
This was the Buckeyes first national championship since 2002 and their 8th in school history. Ohio State lost the turnover battle in this game 4-1, the 4 turnovers being the most ever by a winning team in national championship history, but outgained Oregon in total yards 538-465. The Buckeyes entered 2015 looking to repeat as national champions with the return of Cardale Jones and several other players. However, Jones struggled mightily and was eventually benched for backup JT Barrett. The Buckeyes lost at home to Michigan State in week 13 17-14, ending their chance at another national championship. They were invited to the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, which they won 44-28. The Buckeyes then returned to the playoff in 2016, despite not winning their conference, but lost in the Fiesta Bowl to eventual national champion Clemson 31-0.
Meanwhile, the Ducks fell to 0-2 in national championship games, with their other loss to Auburn in 2010. They also fell to 0-9 all time against Ohio State. Marcus Mariota, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2014, declared for the NFL draft after the season. In 2015, without Mariota, the Ducks offense was depleted, as the team lost momentum going forward. The next season, the Ducks finished 9-4, which included a close loss to Michigan State in East Lansing (31-28). However, a home blowout loss to Utah (62-20) and a double overtime loss at home to Washington State (45-38) cost the Ducks a chance at going back to the national championship. They ended the 2015 season with a triple overtime loss to TCU in the Alamo Bowl 47-41. In 2016, Oregon regressed even further, finishing 4-8 and failing to reach a bowl for the first time since 2004. They did, however, go back to a bowl in 2017, losing in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl to Boise State 38-28. Oregon's appearance in the 2014 playoff was the last time a Pac-12 team appeared in the playoff until Washington did so in 2016, but the Huskies lost in the Peach Bowl to Alabama 24-7.
The 2 teams have not met since this game. However, they will meet in a home and home series in 2020 and 2021, with the 2020 game occurring in Eugene and the 2021 game occurring in Columbus.
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