CJ Stroud’s dominating night isn’t enough for Ohio State

ATLANTA — CJ Stroud was right.

He didn’t need a national championship for his legacy at Ohio State.

His performance on Saturday night was more than enough.

It didn’t result in victory and a National Championship berth at home in Los Angeles, but the dynamic junior quarterback did everything in his power to make it happen.

He nearly carried the fourth-seeded Buckeyes to an astonishing surprise from heavily favored defending national champion Georgia, but the magic of fire Stetson Bennett and Noah Ruggles’ missed 50 yards with three seconds left was too much. to overcome in a crushing 42-41 defeat in a dramatic fishing bowl.

“I just tried to leave it all in play,” Stroud said. “Games like this, I’m at a loss for words. I left my heart on this pitch.

Stroud did everything he could. He completed 23 of 34 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns. He used his legs to extend play and led Ohio State into basket territory in the final minute after Georgia rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit.

C.J. Stroud
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He hung a season-high 41 points on the nation’s second-highest scoring defense, separating the Bulldogs’ elite defense despite losing star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a head injury at the end of the third quarter.

In the end, it just wasn’t enough to send Ohio State to the national championship game.

“If you look at the tape I think I really tried to do everything I could to win games in my career and if that means I didn’t, that’s what it is. “, said the double Heisman. The trophy finalist said this week ahead of the Peach Bowl against Georgia.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I will continue to move forward and learn from it.
“I don’t think I have anything to prove. I think I have the opportunity to go there and play with my brothers again.

It was almost certainly the last time Stroud would wear an Ohio State uniform. He’s one of the NFL’s top draft picks, potentially even No. 1 overall in April. Against a loaded defense that included many future NFL players, he proved himself, performing like a player worthy of leading an NFL franchise for years to come.

But thereafter, his only focus was this heartbreaking loss.

“I’m proud of my guys,” Stroud said. “I can’t say enough about how hard we fought.”


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