COMMENTARY | Now it’s time to see what the Ohio State Buckeyes are really made of.
After defeating Buffalo of the MAC and San Diego Stateout of the Mountain West by a combined score of 82-27 in their first two games, the Buckeyes will face their first true test of the 2013 season with a trip to Berkeley to face to the California Golden Bears on September 14.
The Golden Bears are 1-1 so far in 2013 under first-year head coach Sonny Dykes. After a 44-30 loss to OSU’s Big Ten rival Northwestern on August 31, Cal rebounded with a closer than expected 37-30 victory over FCS opponent Portland State in Week 2.
Despite their record, and their underwhelming performance against a lower-division school, the Golden Bears could be the team to snap Ohio State’s 14-game winning streak. These are three reasons why:
The Bucks Could Be Without Braxton Miller
Bothered by a knee injury suffered against San Diego State, it’s looking more and more like quarterback Miller will be a game-time decision versus the Golden Bears. If Miller isn’t cleared to play, backup Kenny Guiton will make his first start of his Ohio State career.
Guiton did play fairly well in relief of Miller in the win over the Aztecs, going 19 of 28 for 152 yards through the air, along with 83 yards on the ground. Guiton’s performance came against a San Diego State team that was torched for 40 points by an FCS team in Week 1, so it’s difficult to gauge how he will fare against a California defense that, while they have struggled thus far in 2013, is still of a much higher caliber than that of the Aztecs.
Regardless, an Ohio State offense without Miller is certainly a less explosive unit, and that could spell trouble for the Buckeyes against the Golden Bears, especially because:
Cal Can Move The Football
For a team that has generally been one of the better offensive teams in college football over the last decade, 2012 was a disaster offensively for the Golden Bears in 2012. Despite returning their dynamic duo of quarterback Zach Maynard and wide receiver Kennan Allen, Cal’s offense averaged just 23 points per game in 2012, which was a major reason longtime coach Jeff Tedford was let go after last year’s 3-9 campaign.