FRISCO, Texas– Ezekiel Elliott averaged seven yards per carry during his three years at Ohio State, so Sunday's loss to the Giants served as a timely reminder.
Yards aren't as easy to come by in the NFL. His average of 2.5 yards per carry during his NFL debut should serve as evidence of that.
"You've just got to realize that some games you're only going to get those two, three, four-yard dirty runs. You're not always going to get those big hitters," Elliott said.
That's got to be aggravating for a guy who earned his reputation by slashing through top-level defenses with ease. Elliott burst onto the scene as a college sophomore with touchdown runs of 85 and 33 yards against the likes of Alabama and Oregon.
Sunday against the Giants, his eight-yard touchdown run was his long effort of the entire game. Even if he wasn't expecting to score on every attempt, that had to be quite a contrast.
"I wouldn't say I was trying to go for big hitters, but it was just a little bit frustrating," he said.
[embeddedad0]Whatever frustration Elliott is feeling hasn't shown on the surface, which is honestly pretty surprising. In addition to running at will during college, Elliott also rarely lost. During his two years as Ohio State's starting running back, the Buckeyes lost a grand total of two games – and Elliott is now halfway to that total after Week 1 of his pro career.
"I mean, yeah – I'm not used to losing at all," he said. "But I've done a good job of realizing that you aren't going to win every game in this league."
But that doesn't make the film sessions any easier – especially after running the ball 20 times for 51 yards.
"It was a tough two days after the game, just kind of watching that film over and over and wishing I could have those plays back where I didn't do what I think I should've done," he said. "But it's a learning process. You've just got to grow."
With one game of many in the books, it sounds like the first lessons are all about patience and consistency. To this point, it sounds like Elliott is picking that up just fine.
"I've just got to be more honed," he said. "I've got to be more focused, got to be more disciplined and just focus on the little things, doing what I'm supposed to do – instead of being impatient."