BERKELEY, Calif. – In a game that saw Ohio State and California combine for more than 1,000 yards of total offense, the Buckeyes outlasted the Golden Bears 52-34 Saturday.
The Buckeyes ended the game with 608 yards of total offense.
After a quick three-and-out by Cal to open the game, OSU wasted no time getting into the scoring column. Redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton, who was named the starter in place of injured junior quarterback Braxton Miller, hit junior wide receiver Devin Smith down the right sideline and Smith took it 90 yards to make it 7-0. The score was the longest offensive play in Ohio State football history.
Not even two minutes later, the two connected again for another touchdown, this one from 47 yards out to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 advantage. Golden Bear freshman quarterback Jared Goff was stripped by junior linebacker Ryan Shazier on Cal’s next drive, resulting in Guiton’s third touchdown pass of the game, as he found senior wide receiver Chris Fields on fourth and goal from the one.
Cal scored quickly on its next drive on a Goff touchdown pass to make it 21-7, and a 39-yard field goal by the Buckeyes made it 24-7. Goff threw his second touchdown pass of the game on the ensuing drive to make it 24-14 after one quarter of play.
Even though OSU got off to a such a quick start, coach Urban Meyer said he did not feel secure until there were only a few minutes left.
“I never felt comfortable until three minutes left or something like that,” Meyer said. “I felt like we could control, running the ball, run the clock out but I never…not until the end I felt comfortable.”
Redshirt senior running back Jordan Hall scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes a 17-point lead, and Cal kicked two field goals making the score 31-20 at the half.
Hall scored twice in the third quarter, as the offenses kept humming. Goff threw two more touchdown passes himself to make it 52-27 at the end of the third.
The Golden Bears were able to score once more in the fourth quarter on a one yard run by running back Daniel Lasco, but the Buckeyes ran out the clock to hold on to the win 52-34.
Meyer called the high offensive production something that was “fun to watch,” and the way the unit is playing right now is what he envisions it looking like.
“We couldn’t have done this a year ago. Its not going to happen,” Meyer said. “The development of Devin Smith, the development of Corey Brown, Philly Brown, and there are some weapons on offense right now.”
Guiton finished the game with 276 yards passing and four touchdowns, and Hall ran for 168 yards on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns.
Even though he said he was never really told he was going to start Saturday, Guiton said that did not change his preparation.
“I really was never told a a set time when I was going to start or anything but all week I practice with the ones and just prepared with them like the starters,” Guiton said. “I kept the mindset like I was starting and today when I got the nod and everything I was just ready to go.”
OSU takes on Florida A&M in Columbus next Saturday at noon.