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September 13, 2013

Staff Predictions: Cal Bears

Follow Noon | Givler | Maks | Holleran | AndyMac

Ohio State packs its bags and goes on the road for the first time of the season and it is more than just a short road trip as the team heads across the country to California to take on the Golden Bears. The Buckeyes have won their last two game and moved down each week in the polls, do the Buckeyes try and pour it on this week or does anyone on staff see an upset brewing?


Kevin Noon - Publisher
This could either be one of those games where Ohio State just has to plain 'outscore' Cal to win the game or maybe the Buckeye defense that people want to be critical of isn't as bad as everyone wants to think. The thing that people can agree on is that Ohio State should score a lot of points. Kenny Guiton or Braxton Miller can run the offense and Cal has proven to date that it doesn't have much of an answer for a strong running team. This is a game where the Buckeyes should look to keep the ball on the ground, keep the Cal offense off the field and give the rest of their schedule a big dose of nightmare film of the running package. Even without Carlos Hyde the Buckeyes should hold a major advantage in the run game and pound the ball. Ohio State 52 Cal 24

Patrick Maks - Staff Writer
Like last season, I think a lot of people are underestimating Cal's ability to compete with Ohio State. Coach Sonny Dykes seems to have a pretty good feel for his team and while he and the Golden Bears are undoubtedly overmatched, they have NFL-level talent on their roster. The Buckeyes, winners of 14-straight games since the 2012 season, should be able to have their way with Cal's defense -- with or without starting quarterback Braxton Miller. But it will be interesting to see how Ohio State's defense comes to play against a team that will throw on them early and often. Ohio State 42 Cal 21

Andrew Holleran - Staff Writer
If this game were in Columbus, I'd be fully confident in the Buckeyes being able to blow out California. But it is not. And playing in front of your home crowd in college football is a big advantage. Not advantage enough for California to come away with a win, though. Ohio State has too much talent on both sides of the ball. I think this one will be close early, maybe even within one score heading into the fourth quarter. California's fast paced offense will give the Silver Bullets some trouble early, and Ohio State's running game might struggle a bit. But Braxton Miller will have a big game coming off an injury, and the defense will be opportunistic and force a couple of key turnovers.Ohio State 38 Cal 20

Marc Givler - Recruiting Analyst
Last week was certainly an interesting one for the Buckeyes as they came out firing on all cylinders from the opening drive, ultimately taking a 35-0 lead into halftime despite star quarterback Braxton Miller only playing one series. Miller will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday night and this should be the toughest test yet for the Buckeyes who have played two sub par opponents at home and must now hit the road to face a BCS team that has put up some big numbers through the air the first two weeks. I look for Ohio State to be motivated to play well in this game with it being their first real test and with a defense that looked improve last week, I expect them to win somewhat comfortably, even if Guiton has to handle the QB duties. Ohio State 38 Cal 20

Andy McLachlan - Team Writer
I really don't care how poorly the Golden Bears looked last week against powerhouse Portland State. When you travel three time zones and play in a late night, hostile environment, you're in for a challenge. Cal's Jared Goff is off to an incredible start and sits a top the NCAA in total offense per game and passing yards. He has plenty of weapons around him and will test the Buckeye defense all game. There are still question marks regarding Braxton Miller's health. Yes, Kenny Guiton has been outstanding in relief work but in an ideal world, you have your best available against your toughest out-of-conference opponent. Plus with Cal's defense surrendering over 530 yards a game, Ohio State is in a prime position to put up record day numbers. Get ready for a wild one in Berkeley. Ohio State 59 Cal 31

Tom Levenick - Time and Change Contributor/Former Player
Ohio State travels to Berkley this weekend for an afternoon game against the Cal Golden Bears. Cal will give the Buckeyes their stiffest test of the young season as I believe they have been pointing to this date all pre-season. I hope to see Braxton Miller back to his normal extraordinary self and the Buckeyes should put 40+ points on the scoreboard. Cal quarterback Jared Goff will be asked to pass 40 to 40 times against the Buckeyes and has talented receivers in Chris Harper, Khalfani Muhammad and Bryce Treggs. Defensively, both Cal's starting defensive ends are injured, so the Buckeyes may have great success getting to the perimeter. Golden Bear cornerback Kameron Jackson says "it's payback time for the Buckeyes." Be careful what you ask for Kameron. Ohio State 47 Cal 17

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