As the Big Ten continues to embarrass itself in non-conference games, it’s a good thing Ohio State don’t have to rely on Braxton Miller being healthy to remain perfect or represent the conference respectfully, getting the most out of a rare start for him on his fifth year in Columbus.
While three other teams (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State) looked terrible against the Pac-12 and UCF (!!!), Ohio State were never really in any doubt they’d come up with the win against California, beating the Golden Bears 52-34, feeling very confident after jumping to a 21-0 in the first quarter.
Guiton was in charge of the festivities, following up on his OK performance against San Diego State from the previous game, this time throwing four touchdown passes for 276 yards on 21-of-32. He also ran for 96 yards as Ohio State couldn’t be stopped on the ground with 332 yards, as Jordan Hall was simply abusing the California defense with 164 yards and three touchdowns.
Ohio State have now won 15 consecutive games, the longest streak in the FBS, although this might have been their first really impressive win of the season after looking sluggish against San Diego State and Buffalo.
Guiton got so much of the attention because it’s his fifth and final year with Ohio State, and it took this long for him to get his first start. He gets the ball to the right people at the right time. What I was more impressed with with him were the downfield throws. Those were right on the dot, a few of them, and Devin Smith made some excellent catches. He’s a very good distributor.
Devin Smith and Guiton connected for a 90-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive less than two minutes in the first quarter. Smith caught another one for 47 yards on the next drive, finishing the day with 3 receptions for 149 yards in a rare showing of speed and skill.
Devin has world-class speed. Sending him on deep routes in man coverage, we’re going to try to exploit that. I saw him beat his man and I tried to lay it up for him. He ran under it and he can do the rest.
It seemed like everything happened in the first quarter, which ended 24-14 for Ohio State; there were three turnovers and 445 yards during those 15 minutes alone, but it set the pace for the entire day as Ohio State kept staying too far ahead for Cal to catch up with, even if they were happy with the offensive display they put on.
We’re a very young football team. If you just compare the roster in terms of starters, I think we had two seniors that started for us today. I think they had like 14, 15. That’s a big difference. We just got to group up. We’ve got to improve. That falls on us as coaches to coach better and bring our players along and put them in a good position to be successful. We kind of fell behind the eight ball there going down 21-0. That kind of hurt. But I was proud of the way we fought back. We never quit.