COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — – Ohio State coach Urban Meyer began his remarks after Saturday’s 42-7 blowout of San Diego State by praising a scarlet-and-gray clad crowd of 104,984 at Ohio Stadium.
”It was a fantastic environment,” he said of the game and all that surrounded it provided by the band, cheerleaders and the Buckeyes faithful.
This week, the environment won’t be nearly so friendly.
Having dispatched two mediocre teams at home, No. 4 Ohio State hits the road for the first time when it travels to California for a game on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes (2-0), who dropped a spot in the latest AP Top 25, beat up on the punchless Aztecs a week after rolling over Buffalo, 40-20 – also at home.
The final word on whether standout quarterback Braxton Miller will play Saturday probably won’t come out until doctors and trainers further evaluate his left knee sprain. He was injured on a tackle early in the game and did not return, with backup Kenny Guiton leading the way in the win with two TD passes and a scoring run.
”Kenny Guiton’s one of the greatest leaders I know,” offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said. ”He’s a mature guy. He’s confident. He’s always calm. He encourages us all to do well. We don’t miss a beat. I’m excited to be in there with Kenny G. He does a great job. If we didn’t have Braxton Miller he could potentially be the guy.”
Meyer said after the game he thought Miller would be available for Cal, but if not then there’s no choice but to have Guiton be ”the guy” when the Buckeyes take their act on the road.
Most teams have difficulty when they pack their bags for the first road game. The Buckeyes are just 9-6 in their last 15 road openers.
Meyer is 10-1 as a head coach in his team’s first road game, the lone loss a 28-26 setback at Texas A&M in 2003, his first year at Utah.
Cal (1-1) will be playing its third home game so far. The Bears, in a battle of upcoming Buckeyes opponents, lost their opener to Northwestern, 44-30. This past Saturday, they knocked off Football Championship Subdivision foe Portland State, 37-30.
”They outplayed us and outcoached us and we were fortunate to win,” said Cal’s first-year coach, Sonny Dykes.
Those words don’t bode well when a team with national aspirations is coming your way.
Continue Reading: Ohio St.-California Preview