It’s too soon to start calling Braxton Miller “Wally Pipp.” But senior quarterback Kenny Guiton has proven himself to be more than a backup. Guiton, making his first career start, played a very good game in leading the Ohio State to a mostly comfortable 52-34 victory in Berkeley.
Guiton threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 92 yards in leading the Buckeyes to their third victory this season and 15th straight win overall under Urban Meyer.
Guiton connected with wide receiver Devin Smith on a 90-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes into the game, and the Buckeyes raced out to a 21-0 lead and never really looked back.
The Golden Bears climbed back to within 10, 24-14 at the end of the first quarter, but were never able to seriously mount a threat as the Buckeyes ran no-huddle most of the game as well. True freshman Jared Goff had a decent game and was just shy of 400 yards for the third straight game, completing 31 of 53 passes for 371 yards. However, in the first quarter Goff committed two turnovers, helping to contribute to the deficit.
Goff was handcuffed by the lack of production from his own running game. Brendan Bigelow was held to 39 yards on 11 carries, with a long of nine yards. Bigelow did much more in last year’s game in Columbus, but that was a different offensive philosophy and a different Buckeyes team.
In contrast to Cal, Ohio State’s running game was clicking. Buckeyes running back Jordan Hall carried the ball 30 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns as the Buckeyes rang up 608 yards of total offense. The Buckeyes also took some risks, going for it on fourth down four times, but they managed to convert all four of their attempts.
The Cal defense, which has been dealing with injuries, has given up over 500 yards in all three games so far this season, and this is the second loss for Cal to a Big Ten team this season after going down in the season opener against Northwestern.
What’s next for Ohio State: The Buckeyes head home to face FCS team Florida A&M University. It will be interesting to see if Braxton Miller plays in that one or if Guiton gets another start.
What’s next for Cal: The Golden Bears have to do some retooling and hope that their defense gets healthier. The extra week off will help, but having to face Oregon and their warp speed attack may not make things any better in Berkeley.