Trey Sermon Followed Record-Breaking Performance in Style

What could Trey Sermon do for an encore after he set the Ohio State single-game rushing record in the Big Ten title game? He ran for nearly 200 yards against the No. 2 team in the country.
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The Ohio State running back was the biggest storyline before the Sugar Bowl in the two hours leading up to kickoff.

Not Trey Sermon. Master Teague.

Despite the fact that Sermon ran for 331 yards and two touchdowns against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game, the bigger attention-grabbing headline Friday was that Master Teague headlined Ohio State's list of unavailable players for the Sugar Bowl.

Teague had been the Buckeye starter all season, although he and Sermon had split carries throughout the year. Until Sermon's good game at Michigan State, the Oklahoma grad-transfer had played fine - but not nearly up to the hype surrounding him coming in. He ran for 2,000 yards in a pass-happy offense down in Norman.

But legends are born in championship stages. Sermon's performance the last two games resurrects memories of Ezekiel Elliott's 2014 College Football Playoff performance after he put the Buckeyes on his back and ran them to a title. 

Sermon finished the Sugar Bowl with 31 carries for 193 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 61 yards. His 524 rushing yards over the last two games are the most in a 2-game stretch in Ohio State history. If you count the Michigan State game, Sermon is averaging 212 yards per game the last three contests.

Here's what Ryan Day had to say about Sermon after Friday's win.

"Yeah, I mean, it started at the Michigan State game," Day said of Sermon. "That was the first one where he kind of ‑‑ I guess coming‑out party is the best way to put it. I think it was where he got his confidence. And then the last two games, he's been excellent. He's been a difference‑maker. He really wasn't early on. I think he was kind of finding his way. But wow, I mean, whether it's in the pass game, whether it's in protection, and obviously running the football, he's been special.

"But, again, you got to give a lot of credit to our offensive line and our tight ends. There was a point there where we weren't going to run Justin [Fields], and the defense knew it. We weren't getting the extra hat. It was ugly, but we had to make it work, and those guys played good."

While Sermon has one more chapter to write - and he's certainly not going to catch Alabama off guard - his incredible efforts the last two games have won the hearts of Buckeye fans across country.

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