Playing without starting quarterback Braxton Miller, who was ruled out just prior to kickoff with a knee injury, Ohio State’s offense didn’t miss a beat, cruising past Cal for a 52-34 non-conference win in Berkeley. The Buckeyes rolled up a season-high 606 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to Kenny Guiton and a punishing rushing attack.
Making his first career start, Guiton passed for 276 yards — more than 200 of those coming in the first half — and four touchdown passes; the senior entered the game with five career touchdown tosses. Guiton added 92 yards on the ground.
Guiton set the tone early, connecting with Devin Smith on a 90-yard touchdown pass on the Buckeyes’ second play from scrimmage. Speaking of plays from scrimmage, that one was the longest in OSU history. On the next possession, Guiton hit Smith again on a 47-yard bomb that was part of OSU’s 21-0 run-out to start the game.
For those asking, no, there’s no quarterback controversy; Miller’s the starter when he gets healthy. Still, Urban Meyer and his offensive coaching staff can rest firm in the knowledge that they have a viable option should Miller’s injury history continue catching up to him.
As for the other part of OSU’s offensive onslaught, the Buckeyes controlled the tempo of the game by rushing the ball 60 times for a BYU-vs-Texas-like 332 yards. Jordan Hall rushed for 168 yards and a career-high three scores, adding another layer of uncertainty to where Carlos Hyde will fit into the backfield pecking order upon his return from suspension.
In easily getting past the Bears, OSU extends its winning streak to 15 games, the longest such streak in the nation.
The Buckeyes will now play their final scrimmage of the season next Saturday against Florida A&M before heading into Big Ten play against Wisconsin in Columbus.