Ohio State dominates Notre Dame to win Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State got over the loss of its best defensive player in the first quarter and rode four rushing touchdowns by Ezekiel Elliott to win the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl 44-28.

Elliott ran for 149 yards on 27 carries and quarterback J.T. Barrett was a force with his arm as well as his legs, completing 19 of 31 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown while also posting 96 yards on the ground. Notre Dame’s defense just couldn’t get over the loss of linebacker Jaylon Smith to a leg injury early on and was flat as can be in trying to stop the Buckeyes, who just had their way.

In terms of scoring, Ohio State got started quickly when Elliott capped a nine-play, 80 yard drive with a 2-yard run. Not long afterward, Michael Thomas reeled in the only touchdown catch of the game on Ohio State’s end when Barrett found him from 15-yards out.

But it was also around now that Ohio State’s defense suffered a tough blow, as star defensive lineman Joey Bosa was ejected for targeting after nailing Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer with a helmet to the ribs.

Notre Dame managed to answer back with a three-yard touchdown by Josh Adams, but Elliott then put the Buckeyes back up by three touchdowns with a pair of one-yard touchdown runs, and a one-yard run by Kizer made the score 28-14.

And Notre Dame made even more noise in the third quarter, as a four-yard pass from Kizer to Chris Brown put the Irish within a touchdown, 28-21.

But Elliott struck again, this time breaking away for a 47-yard touchdown to put the Buckeyes back up by two scores, 35-21 and even adding a Bosa shrug at the end.

Ohio State added a field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 38-21, but Notre Dame refused to die. Kizer found star receiver Will Fuller for what ended up being an 81-yard touchdown to put the Irish down by 10. With plenty of time left in the fourth quarter, could Notre Dame mount a comeback?

Sadly, no. Ohio State added two more field goals and Notre Dame just couldn’t mount any further offense, even fumbling on its final drive of the game. The Fighting Irish could only manage 121 rushing yards, while Ohio State had 285, and also had two turnovers. Notre Dame was also just 5 of 13 on third down.

Simply put, though Notre Dame put up a stronger effort in the second half, Ohio State was too big and strong for the Irish to handle.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Stanford alum Carly Fiorina rooting for Iowa in Rose Bowl
Stanford alum Carly Fiorina rooting for Iowa in Rose Bowl