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Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) makes a touchdown an 'O' sign for Ohio State in the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Cyrus Jones (5) during the College Football Playoff Semifinal / Sugar Bowl in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Cardale Jones came through again at the Sugar Bowl in his second career start and Ezekiel Elliott ran for 230 yards, leading Ohio State to a 42-35 upset of top-ranked Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal Thursday night.

The Buckeyes advanced to play Oregon in the Jan. 12 national championship game at Arlington, Texas.

Jones threw for 243 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to Devin Smith that put the Buckeyes ahead for good early in the third quarter. He also ran for 43 yards and converted a crucial third-down play on a 1-yard dive with Ohio State (13-1) clinging to a 34-28 lead.

On the next play, Elliott took a handoff, broke one feeble attempt at a tackle, and was gone for an 85-yard touchdown that clinched the victory with 3:24 remaining.

Alabama (12-2) was denied a shot at its fourth national title in six years.