Oct 3, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) runs with the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Ohio State defeats Indiana 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 Ezekiel Elliott
This one is pretty cut and dry. Ezekiel Elliott is the best running back in the country, and that’s more of a statement than a question. Elliott showed his dominant style of running during last season’s College Football Playoff when he rushed for 476 yards and six touchdowns in Ohio State’s two wins against Alabama and Oregon. He is the perfect type of tailback that combines physicality and speed. Through five games in 2015, the junior has accumulated 729 yards on 100 carries and eight rushing touchdowns.
If you watch film of Elliott, it’s really astounding how well he sees the field, and can find the open running lanes. He has topped the century mark in every game this season, including a 274-yard performance against Indiana last Saturday. This guy is basically a human highlight reel, and has been one of the offensive constants for the Buckeyes this season. Maryland has had trouble stopping the run in 2015 as they’re surrendering 201.9 yards-per-game and 4.5 yards-per-carry. The Terps need to stack an extra man in the box on nearly every early down play where they feel that the Buckeyes may run the football. If they can’t get many early stops, this game is going to get out of control very quickly.