Multiple question’s surrounded the Ohio State Football team’s first road game of the season. Can Kenny Guiton adequately lead the offense? Will the secondary be able to keep up with the recently (and creatively) named “Bear Raid” offense? Can Jordan Hall continue to play at an All-American level?
The Buckeyes (3-0) answered all of these in their 52-34 victory over the Cal Golden Bears (1-2) in Berkeley on Saturday night.
Guiton and the offense came out guns blazing, scoring 21 points on 10 plays, totaling 190 yards on their first three drives. The senior put on quite the show in his first ever start, completing 21-of-32 passes for 276 yards, adding 92 yards on the ground. Guiton had large shoes to fill, stepping in for the injured Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller, and it’s safe to say the Buckeyes are in good hands with Kenny G running the clap-to-snap offense.
Cal’s all-star freshman Jared Goff tested the Buckeye defense, completing 31-of-53 attempts for 371 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. It took the Golden Bears a few drives to get going, but once they found the breaks and openings in the secondary, they didn’t hesitate to capitalize. The tunnel screen to WR Chris Harper would prove to be a useful play, eventually resulting in one of Goff’s three touchdowns. Chances of mental lapses are high when the opposing offense runs 90 plays, despite the win, Ohio State should be less than thrilled with their defensive performance. Cal gained just about six yards per play, gaining 503 total yards of offense. It’s safe to say the defense still has some work to do before B1G Ten play kicks off.
Hall continued his break out season, pounding the Cal defense with 168 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 30 carries. Hall now has six touchdowns on the year, which equals his total number from the last four years combined. With next week’s return of starting RB Carlos Hyde, it will be interesting to see how Hall and true freshman Dontre Wilson will be used in Urban Meyer’s fast-paced, high octane offense.
The next test (for lack of a better word) for Ohio State will be Saturday, September 21 at Ohio Stadium when the Buckeyes will play host to the Rattlers of Florida A&M. The Buckeyes will kick off at noon and look to remain undefeated for the season and under the reigns of Coach Meyer.