This is it. We began with 32 of the best Ohio State plays of the last decade, and you guys have narrowed it down to two worthy challengers in this year’s national championship matchup.
**One Shining Moment plays softly in the background**
Let’s take a look at just how we got here, and the path for both of our national title contenders:
Braxton Miller’s spin move against Virginia Tech was a strong competitor. Winning its region as the No. 6 seed, it knocked off the three highest ranked opponents among the QBs to earn a birth to the Final Four. It was no match for the No. 1 seed out of the RB region, however, as Ezekiel Elliott’s big run against Alabama garnered 82 percent of the vote to move on to the title game.
Another hopeful underdog battled its way into the Final Four on the other side of the bracket, as the No. 4 seed in the D/ST region — Joey Bosa’s OT sack against Penn State — defeated a No. 1 seed, and prevented a Final Four containing three plays from the same game when it knocked off Steve Miller’s pick-six in the 2015 Sugar Bowl. It was a much closer matchup than the other side, but it was Michael Thomas securing the victory with 59 percent of votes to advance.
Now, those two go head to head to determine Ohio State’s greatest play of the decade.
No. 1 Seed (Zeke’s TD vs. Alabama) vs. No. 1 Seed (Thomas’ TD vs. Alabama)
Ohio State has played in countless big games over the last few years, but perhaps none bigger than the matchup leading up the the 2015 National Championship. While the SEC likes to claim that football just means more in the South, the Buckeyes were ready for the trip down to Louisiana to prove that the best team the Big Ten has to offer could take down the greatest team south of the Mason-Dixon Line right in their own backyard.
Trailing 21-6 in the second quarter, OSU needed to get something going and fast. A short Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run cut it to a one-score game with three minutes remaining until the break, but Urban Meyer was not satisfied. With under 20 seconds left in the half and Ohio State at Alabama’s 13-yard line, the Bucks ran a miraculous trick play that, if not executed perfectly at every phase, would have likely ended in disaster. Instead, it wound up an iconic play in the program’s history, as Michael Thomas toe-tapped a beautiful pass from Evan Spencer in the end zone to make it a one-point game at the break.
The Buckeyes would come out hot in the second half, taking a 34-21 lead late in the third quarter. The Crimson Tide would answer, however, as they would put a touchdown on the board before the quarter came to a close, and they were once against threatening down just one score. Elliott had other plans, and after the two teams traded punts for a few drives — with a Vonn Bell pick thrown in the mix — the RB took it 85 yards to the house to seal the deal for Ohio State, making it 42-28 with just over three minutes to play.
The Tide would get one back quickly, but that extra score by Elliott was enough to keep OSU on top, and with one final interception by Tyvis Powell, the Buckeyes were moving on the national title game, where they would dismantle Oregon to win the whole thing.
Both of these plays were tremendously important in terms of the final outcome of the game and really the outcome of the whole season. They were the No. 1 seeds in their respective regions for a reason, and it will be a tough choice to decide our National Champion. I have a hunch of who will come out on top, but let’s find out...
Ohio State's Play of the Decade:
This poll is closed
No. 1: Zeke’s TD vs. Alabama
No. 1: Thomas’ TD vs. Alabama