In a surprisingly friendly environment, that was at worst 50% Buckeye fans, the Ohio State Buckeyes met the California Golden Bears in California Memorial Stadium. In a game best described as “frenetic”, both teams put up 1112 total yards of offense en route to a 52-34 final score. Kenny Guiton finished the game 21/32 for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns, while his counterpart, Cal QB Jared Goff, notched 31/52 for 373 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. Jordan Hall and an impressive day on the ground with 168 yards on 28 carries for 3 touchdowns, and Devin Smith picked up 149 yards on 3 receptions for 2 touchdowns.
As has been typical for the Buckeyes this year, they started on the defensive side of the ball. On the first play of the game, Joey Bosa made a huge tackle to celebrate his first start of his career. The defense as a whole executed extremely well, wrapping up better than we’ve seen all season, and performing smart, aggressive tackles. And while Cal was able to get some yardage on their first couple possessions, it wasn’t enough to sustain a drive.
Kenny Guiton got his first career start in this game, with Braxton Miller’s MCL still a concern to the coaching staff. It didn’t take him long, only the second play of the first OSU possession, to make his own mark on this game. Devin Smith broke open on a deep route on the right side of the field, and Guiton hit him with a 90 yard touchdown strike. The pass hit Smith nearly in stride and allowed him to run away from the defender with ease. It was reportedly the longest play from scrimmage in OSU football history, beating out Gene Fekete’s 89 yard play against Pitt in 1942.
The offense didn’t let up either. Guiton hit another long pass play to Smith on the next possession. He followed that with a 4th and goal strike to Chris Fields, which came after OSU forced Cal QB Jared Goff into a fumble. All in all, OSU scored 21 points and racked up 190 yards of total offense in the first *six minutes of play*. It was an offensive showcase in every way imaginable.
The Buckeyes make the Left Coast trip to visit the California Golden Bears this Saturday. The Buckeyes moved to 2-0 after their handling of the San Diego State Aztecs 42-7. Once again, it was a tale of two halves.
In the 1st half, the Buckeyes ran 37 plays for 284 yards (7.7 YPP), scoring on 5 of 7 possessions for 35 points.
In the 2nd half, they ran 33 plays for 116 yards and one (1) touchdown. Oh, and this firefight was smoothly led by backup QB Kenny Guiton after Braxton Miller went down with a knee injury on OSU’s first series. Coach Meyer expects Braxton to be healthy come game time Saturday.
Meanwhile out West, the Golden Bears of California handled FCS opponent Portland State 37-30 to move to 1-1 on the season. Backing up a week, the Golden Bears opened their current home stand with a 44-30 loss to B1G powerhouse #22 Northwestern. Go B1G!
In its first year under Sonny Dykes, California is running a frenetic paced offense, averaging 97 plays and 582 yards per game this season. Last week, against Portland State, Cal ran 95 plays for 616 yards. That is a lot of both. California currently leads the nation with 470 passing yards per game. Freshman Jared Goff and his receivers are simply wearing out secondaries this year.
Although Cal is making a name for itself on offense, for example, scoring on 7 of 16 drives against Portland State, their defense forced PSU to punt in their last 6 possessions to seal the win. So they can play some defense.
Notes and thoughts as Ohio State wraps up the SDSU game and gets ready for Cal!