Ezekiel Elliott's Five Best Runs of the 2013 Season

By Jeff Beck on May 19, 2014 at 1:00p

Kirk Irwin Photography


The departure of Carlos Hyde left a gaping hole in the Buckeye backfield. Hoping to fill it are five talented players in senior Rod Smith, freshman Curtis Samuel and sophomores Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball and Ezekiel Elliott.

Of the five, I believe Elliott has the best chance to grab the starting spot. Last season the St. Louis native fought his way up the totem pole, serving as Hyde’s primary backup. Carlos didn’t come out often, but when he did Elliott made the most of the opportunity to the tune of 30 carries for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against Florida A&M Elliott truly showcased his abilities rushing for 162 yards, 2 touchdowns and an 11.6 YPC on just 14 attempts.

The kid has wheels, size and some nice shake and bakes. For a little reminder, here are his five best runs of the 2013 season.

#5: Florida A&M Side-Step

Up 55 to nothing on the Florida A&M Rattlers, the Buckeyes were roughly a quarter into flexing their second team muscle. A steady dose of rushes from Cardale Jones and Elliott worked the Scarlet and Gray down to the FAMU 16 yard line. On second and six Elliott took the handoff and plowed up the center of the Rattler defense. Just as it looked like he might be stacked up, EzE sidestepped to his left and took it into the endzone.

#4: Purdue Screen

In an effort to avenge the near-loss to the Boilermakers from a year ago, the Scarlet and Gray came in to Purdue’s Ross-Ade stadium on a mission. By the end of the second quarter, that assignment looked to be complete. Up 35-0 the Buckeyes were once again driving, fueled by a 42-yard rush by Hyde to the Purdue 21. Elliott came in to spell Carlos and immediately reeled off an 11-yard run for a first down before finding his way into the endzone via this Braxton Miller pass. While this isn’t technically a run, Elliott does all the work via his legs, particularly the trucking of a Purdue defender at the goal-line.

#3: Florida A&M Career Best

With roughly four minutes left in the third quarter of FAMU’s flogging, Elliott took the handoff, worked to his right and ended up with a Rattler DE clinging to his back. Elliott was able to shake the tackle, maintain his footing and bust it to the outside for a 57-yard gain; the longest of his career.

#2: Penn State X-Brax Impression

In an embarrassment of Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes found themselves up 56-7 with 10 minutes left to play in Columbus. At the controls were Kenny Guiton and EzE, spelling the victorious Miller and Hyde who cooled their heels on the sideline. Braxton may not have been in the game, but Elliott certainly did his best to emulate him here. Nothing like successfully eluding a blitzing safety who is immediately in the backfield, only to charge forward for an impressive first down.

#1: Purdue Stiff Arm

The run above was impressive because it showcased Elliott’s escapability, but no rush was more dominating than this one from the third quarter against Purdue. This is EzE throwing a linebacker to the ground with a stiff arm then going to get the first down. The shades of Beanie here are irrefutable. Plays like this are what get Buckeye Nation excited about No. 15.

There will be an open competition to replace Carlos Hyde for the 2014 season. A number of talented players are set to throw their hat into the ring, but only one had a significant opportunity to showcase what he can do on Saturdays. If Ezekiel Elliott practices anything like he played last season, there’s no question he’ll be the Buckeyes’ No. 1 in 2014.


Comments Show All Comments

gm3jones's picture

He actually stiff armed the Purdue guy twice! Very nice!

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

+6 HS
AndyVance's picture

All hail The Stiff Arm of Justice!

+1 HS
MacG91's picture

Elliot and Dunn can be an impressive 1-2 punch. Dunn up the middle, Elliot around the edges. 


+2 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

Random comment: this is the first time I've noticed the use of the Buckeye leaf space separator. That's a pretty cool little feature.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+7 HS
Crumb's picture

He reminds me a lot of the 2011 Carlos Hyde, a young guy coming into his own who may just bust it open this coming season.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Reminds me a lttle like Mo.

+4 HS
whobdis's picture

You know..if I HAD to pick a former buckeye back to compare him to it might be Mo. He has that same balance and low center of gravity. He get's up to his top speed quickly..doesn't run over people as much as bounces off. Though he did show some power in his runs. Like Mo it's hard to pigeonhole him into a category.

+10 HS
DoubleB's picture

I would upvote if I could. This is my take too. Lets hope he develops into the 2013 Carlos Hyde as well!


+6 HS
Waltbuck's picture

Call me optimistic, but I expect a huge year out of Elliot.  He has all the tools, and is built like crazy.

+2 HS
buckskin's picture

Coaches tend to be partial to the players they recruited and this was one of Urban's signature guys; plus he makes plays on special teams (just ask the Purdue cheerleader).  Barring injury, he'll get 70% of the carries this year.

+2 HS
HighBallAce's picture

I think Zeek and Curtis Samuel will be an incredible one two punch. Should be a lot of fun to watch the next few years!

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

My favorite EZE moment was when he laid out the purdue player on the kick return

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+7 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I'll take some more of that action as well but his speed once he turns the corner is awesome. So looking forward to the next step he takes.

BierStube's picture

Could not agree more


"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

BuckeyeNationforLife's picture

Can't wait to see this guy develop.. Big things coming in the future!

Paralyze resistance with persistence. - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

Dude is gonna be hella special. I can see a 1000 yard seasons down the road somewhere here at the next level. Day 1 starter without any questions.


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

dubjayfootball90's picture

The era of EzE is upon us.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

No doubt EzE is electric with the ball - he's primed to breakout should he show any proficiency in his receiving, blocking and overall understanding of the offense.

The RB stable is loaded, looking more and more like Elliott is the thoroughbred that will run.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

EZE will ball out and be a Buckeye stud. Fact. 


There should be no shortage of "EZE DUZ IT" and shirts with my Elliot crossed with my avatar.



+2 HS
BuckeyeDale's picture

It is going to be a very interesting fall camp.  We obviously have some studs, I'd really like to see Smith get the chance, everyone was so excited when he decided to come to Columbus, but it might be too late for him to get his head out and show what could have been.  You never know when looking at that stud HS senior which one will be the star, and which one will be the guy to just show up and be just a party animal.  And that is what makes CFB so special.


+1 HS
Buck Wild's picture


"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Lots of highlights there!  Can't wait to see what is to come this year!

Go Bucks!!

+1 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

Forgive me of im completely uninspired by what happened against florida a&m and purdue last year. Dont take that as I dont think he wont be a beast and wont start, but I can't base that on his success, only the way he ran. I would expect anyone on scholarship at osu to run that well against FAM.

I would also like to see Rod Smith get his chance, but if the coaches feel E has earned it, I hope he tears of up.

-1 HS
zebiraross's picture

EzE will have 1k this season. Kid is special, there is a reason ufm went after him so hard.


SilverBullet-98's picture

EZE is easily my favorite back and I'm usually a Ohio native homer.

I actually disagree, slightly... with the OP; Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds.

I thought his best run was his #2 ranked run. Where he dodges the blitzer in the backfield and the burst of speed after.

EZE has a great set of wheels, and we know he can fly ,watch the man in 2014 when he gets rubber in all 4 gears!!!

"The Past Builds the Future"

+2 HS
OldColumbusTown's picture

I completely agree.  It is this run by EZE that shows off his vision, wiggle, speed, and punch all in one quick clip.  Watching his highlight video, I seem to forget just how impressive he looked last season in limited carries.  Although we didn't see much of Elliott as a whole, and many of his carries were against FA&M and Purdue, it's the overall look of what he did with the ball that is most impressive.  He makes the right decisions on when to break it outside, when to cut up into the fray, when to run over a defender, and when to shake 'em.

I'm very excited to see this young man on the field in the fall.

Buckeye80's picture

The thing I like about EZE is that he is always looking to square his shoulders to get up field, and he seems patient with his blocks.  Some of these may have been against inferior competition, but with the decisions he was making it doesn't matter.  He gives his blockers time, and then turns on the jets.  I really like how he doesn't just run to sidelines, instead he makes defenders commit, and a little jump cut to the side and up field he goes.  Nothing he does looks forced, but just pure natural talent.  He may remind me a little of Mo, but I won't put him in that league yet.  Regardless, I'm excited about having EZE at tailback.



AZBuckeyePhan's picture

Not only is EZE a GREAT Football player, He is a GREAT Person from an Amazing family! He has an incredible opportunity to be special! I can't wait to watch him do great things as he carves out his OSU legacy. 

GVerrilli92's picture

That lateral quickness and knowing how to drop the hips is real impressive for someone his age. He can hit the line with his shoulders square, side-step two gaps and turn on the in-line jets. All this while keeping his hips and shoulders parallel to the sideline.

That puts so much pressure on an LB that gets sucked into the hole the play was designed for, because Eze can then ram him into a seal block by jumping a gap either way with that side-step.

The player he really reminds me of stylistically is, wait for it.. Boom Herron. Boom knew how to create the power angles, run directly at someone full speed in the second level and make an obtuse cut. I think that is the most comparable runner we've had recently to what I expect Eze to show. Except Eze is much more of a physical specimen, may even have a better head. 

I like that you can't pin him down as any archetypal running back though. He runs upright with great stride in the open field, but he knows how to get low and run behind his pads between the tackles. He can catch the ball out of the backfield or cutting towards the middle on a bubble, and he's got spastic, fast-twitch lateral ability that allows him to wiggle in a box of players. One of the more versatile young guys we've had here since I can remember.

I bet he'd play a ferocious linebacker with that pad control. Food for thought.


I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.