By: Teddy Ellison
These are two teams with grand histories, and they will meet for the first time in four decades this Saturday.
Urban Meyer has been happy the Buckeyes have been winning games, but not necessarily happy with the way they have been doing it. Meyer believes the team must cut down on Braxton Miller’s carries if the team is going to have success in the long-term.
Miller has been backing up his Heisman campaign with two sensational games, but he needs to take strides to improve his passing ability. Last week against a spotty Central Florida defense, Braxton only threw for 155 yards, including an interception—far below Heisman standards. Playing a Cal defense that gave up 292 passing yards to Southern Utah should help.
The Golden Bears suffered a tough loss to Nevada in week one and are entering a stretch that could leave the team with a 1-3 record to start the season. After playing the Buckeyes in Columbus, the Golden Bears will have to travel back to the west coast to take on National Championship contender USC.
Cal will likely look to benefit from Carlos Hyde’s MCL sprain, and limit the Buckeyes’ shallow rushing game. Defense has been a struggle thus far for the Golden Bears, and they will need to show vast improvements if they want to avoid being blown out in back-to-back weeks.
Many Buckeye fans have been viewing this game as the toughest non-conference competition. Seeing a Pac-12 opponent can send a scare through a team, especially when the opponent has produced pro athletes like Aaron Rodgers. However, this is going to be a down year for the Golden Bears. They will be lucky to reach a bowl game this year with their rough schedule and lack of talent.
Prediction: The Buckeyes will continue to overwork Braxton Miller in the rushing game, and he will have over 20 carries. However, Miller will have more success in the air, surpassing 200 yards before the start of the fourth quarter.
This game will be high scoring, but I do not see the Golden Bear offense being able to keep pace. The Buckeyes will lead 28 to 14 at half time. The second half will be slower paced, as the Buckeyes will finish off a 42-21 victory. Tune in for a lot of touchdowns and very few punts.