Posted: 10:37 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
By Ian Cuevas
A 4.5 hour flight to the west coast and gunshots ringing out just a block from their team hotel mere minutes before they arrived yesterday failed to rattle the Ohio State Buckeyes. After jumping out to an electric 21-0 start, the Buckeyes crashed back to earth in a hurry, but unlike Week 1 against Buffalo, Ohio State regained their control en route to a strong 52-34 victory.
The final quarter began with the Ohio State training staff checking out Michael Bennett, who appeared to be hurt. The California offense was moving pretty well and after a 4th down conversion themselves, Jared Goff and the Golden Bears took a shot to the endzone but was ruled incomplete. Daniel Lasco continued having success against the Buckeye defense with a 13 yard rush. Facing 3rd and 6 in the redzone, Brendan Bigelow would come up a bit short. Cal decided to go for it, but the pass from Goff was broken up by free safety C.J. Barnett.
Ohio State would have their backs against the wall on offense starting from their own 7-yard line. Two straight runs by Jordan Hall gave the Buckeyes a first down and some breathing room. Facing a 3rd and 10 from their own 19, Guiton would rush for about 9 yards and would fall short of the first down marker. 4th and 1, the Buckeyes would punt the ball away to Cal with 9:24 remaining in the game.
After a failed 4th down conversion on their last drive, Cal was looking for some kind of momentum to help get things going again. Daniel Lasco was doing his best to fire up the offense after a 15 yard rush for a first down. Quick passing had been the trend all game, and nothing had changed that gameplan as Jared Goff connected with Kenny Lawler for about 8 yards. On third down, Cal moved the chains to get the Golden Bears a 1st and goal. Jared Goff held the ball himself and pushed to the 1-yard line. On third and goal, Cal would finally score on a 1-yard Daniel Lasco run, cutting the Buckeyes' lead to 52-34.
With 6:06 left in the game, Ohio State took over at their own 35-yard line. Kenny Guiton took the first option for himself, rushing for 5 yards, followed by a 4 yard run from Jordan Hall. On 3rd and 1, Jordan Hall would rush ahead for the first down, running the clock down even further. It was apparent the Buckeyes were content with running out the rest of the game, as more carries were headed Hall's way. From there, Ohio State simply ran down the clock, but would have to punt it one more time as Cal called timeout with a little over a minute left in the game.
Next up for the Buckeyes are FCS-side Florida A&M.; 2012 running back starter Carlos Hyde returns to action after a three game suspension looming from an incident at a Columbus night club from this past offseason. The Buckeyes will then need to begin getting ready to open Big Ten play as former Urban Meyer assistant Gary Andersen and the Wisconsin Badgers head to Columbus in a game that may ultimately define Ohio State's 2013 national title hopes.
Kenny Guiton: 21-32, 276 yards, 4 touchdowns, 14 carries, 92 yards
Devin Smith: 3 receptions, 149 yards, 2 touchdowns
Jordan Hall: 30 carries, 168 yards, 3 touchdowns, 5 receptions, 20 yards
Dontre Wilson: 5 carries, 59 yards, 3 receptions, 48 yards,
Philly Brown: 5 receptions, 35 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 carries 15 yards
Luke Zimmermann contributed to this report