BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Brendan Bigelow spun around Ohio State defenders, kept his balance with his hand on the ground and sprinted for an 81-yard touchdown.
The talented California running back wasn’t done a year ago in Columbus, adding a 59-yard score as part of a jaw-dropping, four-carry- for-160-yard afternoon that stamped his arrival on the college football landscape.
”He had incredible speed when he got in the open field and just made us look silly as far as missed tackles thanks to his effort,” coach Urban Meyer said.
The fourth-ranked Buckeyes (2-0) have watched those plays over and over leading up to the rematch against the Golden Bears (1-1) on Saturday in Berkeley in hopes of eliminating them in the future.
Cal is still waiting to see more of that game-breaking ability from Bigelow. Instead of vaulting him to bigger things, that performance has been a teasing flash of unrealized talent.
”I’ve seen the plays he had last year,” first-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. ”We’re ready for him to make some plays like that, some explosive plays. He hasn’t had a chance to do that so far up to this point. We need for him to do it. There’s a lot of people that are involved in that.”
Dykes said the Bears need better blocking on the inside and perimeter and for Bigelow to run tougher and be more decisive to get more of those runs this year.
Getting the running game going is a priority in order to take some pressure off freshman quarterback Jared Goff, who has thrown 115 passes the first two weeks.
Bigelow was little-used by Cal last season despite that big performance as he struggled to grasp former coach Jeff Tedford’s intricate offense. He carried the ball just 38 times in the final nine games as he struggled even to get on the field.
A simpler, spread approach from Dykes was supposed to get Bigelow more involved in the offense but that hasn’t translated yet into big performances like he had at Ohio State a year ago.
Continue Reading: Cal seeks more big-play runs from Bigelow