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Ohio State 42 - Alabama 35: A Sugar Bowl to Remember in 2015

The Allstate Sugar Bowl 2015 was a game that certainly lived up to its hype. Ohio State arrived in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans with scant hope given by some analysts, who doubted if the number 4-ranked was worthy of a Sugar Bowl match-up against the top-ranked Alabama. In the end, the game featured plenty of down-by-down action and ended up in an exciting upset. Based on the odds, fans betting on the Crimson Tide football team probably felt somewhat confident. The game certainly delivered what we've come to expect from Alabama college football teams.

How did the Buckeyes managed to get past the Crimson Tide and finish with a 42-35 victory? It all started with Ohio State winning the coin toss and deferring to Alabama. Ohio State's star running back Ezekiel Elliott became the go-to offensive player; at least until he fumbled and gave Alabama a chance to score the first touchdown of the game after the Buckeyes opened the scoreboard with a field goal.

Ohio State was clearly dominant in the first quarter, but their 168-yard gain only yielded them two field goals to come within one point of Alabama's strong defense in the red zone. The Buckeyes' inability to score touchdowns suggested that Alabama could turn the game into a rout; T.J. Yeldon even converted a 4th down and one yard before scoring a touchdown that put changed the scoreboard to 21 – 6 in favor of the Crimson Tide.

The Buckeyes finally got around to scoring a touchdown in the second quarter thanks to Ezekiel Elliott, and they scored another one before halftime. The third quarter started with a tight score: Alabama 21, Ohio State 20.

The underdog Buckeyes got the hang of breaking through the Alabama defense by scoring a deep touchdown to put them up by six points. The amazing statistic at this point was Ohio State's 423 yards to Alabama's 139. Also important to note is the fact that Alabama scored 16 points on turnovers. A lot of punting took place in the third quarter by both teams, but then Ohio State took advantage of a mistake by Alabama's offense to score another touchdown and make the game 34 – 21.

With a more traditional playbook called by Alabama coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims led his team on an 84-yard run to score a touchdown and put his team back on track. It was Ohio State Buckeyes 34, Alabama 28 going into the fourth quarter.

An amazing 85-yard touchdown by Ezekiel Elliot made it clear that the Buckeyes were no longer underdogs. With less than four minutes left to play, it was Ohio State 42, Alabama 28. Right before the two-minute warning, Alabama scored a touchdown on a 4th and 2 play to bring his team within seven points of a tied score.

The last two minutes of the Sugar Bowl consisted of a series of strategic onside kicks and timeouts that culminated with Alabama in Ohio State's 42-yard line with just 15 seconds on the clock. A Hail Mary pass was expected from Blake Sims, and that is exactly what happened; alas, it was picked off in the end. The electrifying victory by the Buckeyes advanced them to the Championship game on January 12th.