Ezekiel Elliott caused quite the postgame stir on Saturday, when he openly questioned Urban Meyer’s play-calling during the Buckeyes’ baffling 17-14 loss to Michigan State. Despite being two-touchdown favorites, Ohio State rolled out a stunningly conservative offensive game plan against Sparty that resulted in five first downs and eight punts. Elliott rushed just 12 times for 33 yards and a touchdown.
What do we make of his postgame comments?
“I thought he was caught in emotion right there in the moment (and) definitely wrapped into it,” former Buckeye legend and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Listen, I know the kid. I know his family very well. He’s not a selfish kid by any means. If anything, he’s selfless. I think he was more upset by not winning and not having anything to do with it. Like any great competitor, that’s what you’re going to say. He was caught in the moment (because) he was frustrated. But what I found interesting is that Urban Meyer admitted that he wasn’t involved as much. So I’m curious to see how they’re going to come out this weekend.”
Ohio State (10-1) travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan (9-2) this Saturday. The winner will be rooting for Penn State to knock off Michigan State in East Lansing later that afternoon. If the Nittany Lions can pull off the upset, the Ohio State/Michigan winner will face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship on Dec 5.
“I think they’re going to be ready (and play with) their hair on fire,” George said of his Buckeyes this weekend. “This game is not going to be an easy one. It’s not going to be a game, in fact; it’s going to be a war. This game is always a hard-hitting, tough, nasty game, and I’m curious to see how they’re going to respond to last week’s loss.”
Still, one must wonder what happened to Ohio State this year. The Buckeyes looked uninspired, out of sync, and played down to their competition far too often.
“Well, when you look at the big picture, I don’t see any great elite teams this year,” George said. “No one really blew anybody out. I think right now we’re beginning to see Clemson and Alabama separate themselves, and Ohio State’s in that mix. They did not play to the capability that we thought (they could). Their barometer was set last year, hat run that they had when they were completely dominant and destroyed Alabama, destroyed Wisconsin, destroyed Oregon. That’s what we grew accustomed to them playing to. So I don’t think (Meyer) had a bad year. He won 10 ball games. He did have an issue at the quarterback position, but they’re still very talented and they’re still not out of it.”