Debriefing: Cal

By Michael Citro on September 15, 2013 at 10:30a
Chris Carter and the Buckeyes were all smiles Saturday night.

It’s time for your Week 3 debriefing. Ready?

Ohio State took its first road trip of the year, going west to pay a call on the California Golden Bears. Cal entered off two fairly unimpressive games (except for its passing offense), losing to Northwestern, 44-30, and edging Portland State, 37-30.

Cal’s “Bear Raid” passing attack had been by far the most impressive part of its game. It seemed that both teams would be able to put some points on the board. The Buckeyes brought Braxton Miller (knee) on the road but determined he couldn’t go, and the junior quarterback did not dress. Instead, Urban Meyer handed the keys to the offense to senior backup Kenny Guiton.

Adolphus Washington (groin) didn’t even make the trip. So Steve Miller and Joey Bosa would be asked to step up their game.

With Cal averaging nearly 100 offensive snaps per game, would Ohio State be able to cut that number down? Would the smaller travel squad be able to withstand Cal's fast pace for four quarters? Could the Buckeye defense confuse freshman quarterback Jared Goff?

Here’s what you need to know about the contest between your Buckeyes and the Bears from the Pac-12 Conference.

Water Cooler prep (Everything you need to know…in one paragraph)

Ohio State jumped out to a 21-0 lead and traded points from there, en route to a 52-34 win. Cal made a game of it with a couple of big plays, but Ohio State was never seriously threatened. Guiton led an offense that rolled up 608 yards. Jordan Hall ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Smith caught three balls for 168 yards and two scores.

Talk before the game 

“I see no reason to risk further injury to Braxton. Go get 'em Kenny G!”

“There are more Ohio State fans than Cal fans in Memorial Stadium.”

Talk in the aftermath

“Another great game by Kenny G and no interceptions.”

“No need for Braxton Miller to rush back when you’ve got Kenny G playing his smooth, smooth jazz.”

Give that man a buckeye leaf (Player of the game)

In his first career start, Kenny G played the opposing defense like a soprano saxophone. His first half alone was better than the day most of the nation’s quarterbacks had yesterday — 13/20 for 228 yards and three touchdowns. For the game, Guiton was 21/32 for 276 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran for 92 more yards on 14 carries (6.6 YPA). A master of option football, Kenny nearly always made the right decision on when to give or keep, selling the fake at the mesh point like a maestro.

Snot Knocker of the Game

Ohio State faced a fourth-and-one at the Cal 38-yard line on the first drive of the second half. Guiton kept on an option play over the right side and scurried 33 yards to the five. On the play, Ohio State center Cory Linsley hustled downfield and pretty much trucked a guy, sending him flying.

Corey Linsley killed a man.

Did you see that?! (Play of the game)

On just Ohio State’s second offensive play, the Buckeyes lined up at their own 10. Guiton faked a handoff to Hall and unleashed a bomb to Smith, who caught it in stride near midfield and raced untouched to the end zone. It was Ohio State’s longest ever play from scrimmage and really set the tone for the Buckeye offense. Guiton and Smith would later hook up for a 47-yarder.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

When you sank into your chair (The moment Buckeye football disgraced your family)

Late in the third quarter, Ohio State forced Cal into a third-and-20, following a holding penalty and a sack by Noah Spence. The Buckeyes had been getting after Goff and were primed for a big play. Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown read Goff's eyes the freshman quarterback threw the football right to him. Brown jumped and prepared to make a drive-killing interception. Instead, the ball went through Brown's hands, hit off his left shoulder pad, and bounced straight to Cal receiver Jackson Bouza, who caught it for a first down. The Golden Bears had a fresh set of downs at the Ohio State 41 while Buckeye Nation face palmed.

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment of the game

With time winding down in the second quarter, Cal lined up in punt formation on fourth-and-seven at the Ohio State 38-yard line. As Tressel hunched over the meal on his living room TV tray, Jared Goff — who wears the same number as Cal’s punter — threw a strike to Stefan McClure for a first down. Suddenly not hungry anymore, Tressel pushed the unfinished Chicken Carbonara from Lean Cuisine’s Culinary Collection away and said “No sir. You never know what could happen on a fake punt. You have to go ahead and kick it there. Pin them deep, make them drive the length of the field, and so forth.”

What you texted your friend at the end of each quarter

First: Awesome start, but have to eliminate the dumb mistakes.

Second: Can’t seem to pull away. At least Shazier came back.

Third: Offense is clicking. Have to stop missing tackles!

Fourth: 3-0! Let’s keep it rolling.

It was over when

Kenny Guiton dropped a perfect pass over the top to Philly Brown from six yards out, capping a punishing 15-play, 80-yard drive that used up 6:13 on the clock. The Buckeyes increased their lead to 45-20 on Guiton’s fourth touchdown pass of the game, with under six minutes to play in the third quarter. Although Cal’s offense played well, it couldn’t keep up with Ohio State and that score ended any real hopes of the Bears making a game of it.

That’s it. Now you know what to say if the game comes up as a topic of conversation. Next week: Florida A&M.


Comments Show All Comments

Poison nuts's picture

On the "What you texted to your friends" section...nailed it!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

FloridaBuck's picture

Close.  I like reading this section each week.  Though the ones between my friends and I tend to be much more vulgar.  Haha

ATXbucknut's picture

As the Dispatch points out, our punter (and punting team) has yet to allow a single return yard this year.  That is darn good through 3 games.  Tressel must indeed be pleased.

otrain2416's picture

Guiton played unbelievable in his first start. The one thing people aren't giving a lot of credit to that is being overshadowed by Guiton is Cal's QB Goff. Kids a true freshman and lit our defense up with 503 yards total offense 371 through the air and 3 TDs. He is going to be one special player in the future. If we  would have played Cal 2-3 years from now we'd get the Top 25 Cal that we originally scheduled.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

yrro's picture

I agree. If Cal gets its defense up to even average levels of competence they are going to be nasty the next few years.
If were Sonny Dykes, I'd be looking for someone to run the most boring, vanilla, old-school Penn State style of defense possible and just get everyone playing fundamentally sound defense. With that offense, you don't need to do anything special - you just need to keep people from throwing a 700 passer rating in the first quarter.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

The kid was great but as far as the game sports casting went I think they were fawning over Goff and did not give KENNY the props he deserved.  Remember, this was Goff's third start and only the first start for Guiton.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

741's picture

Trolling JT with love (and so forth).

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

My favorite play was the option play you have the vid for above for the pancake block - the read Guiton made and the calmness he showed during that play was freaking amazing!!!  There were a wall of Cal players coming at him and he just waited until the play unfolded, picked his spot, and bolted up field - incredible play!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

FloridaBuck's picture

Totally agree!  I rewinded that play several times. 

kalabuckzoo's picture

That read was awesome, but I'm looking forward to Hyde getting back so those third and short plays go for first downs and we don't need all those 4th and 1 conversions! 

fanatibuck's picture

^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^  an OSU offense should not need that many attempts at a 4 and one. Welcome back my Hyde!!


MassiveAttack's picture

I loved the play, and rewound the DVR several times, it seemed like we dodged a bullet on that pancake block.  I've seen similar be called for illegal block in the back, many times. 
Kenny was outstanding! But if XBrax made the same read, he would have taken it to the house by cutting back to the center of the field, instead of trying to use the poor block near the 10 yard line.  Having said that, the only poor plays by Kenny all day were the fumble and 1 badly thrown ball.  As much as I love Braxton, I wouldn't bet that he would have had a better game through the air.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I prefer to think that instead of eating Lean Cuisine in front of the telly, coach Tressel was at the UM/Akron game with his Lloyd Carr voodoo doll, frantically inserting pins until he dropped one at the end, thus allowing pass interference to not be called on that last play......

cplunk's picture

I'm not sure Tress does anything frantically. 

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I understand he has the Brady Hoke voodoo doll on back-order from Amazon.

fear_the_nut70's picture

It would be on back order as the amount of materials and the number of employees necessary to construct such a doll would be massive.

Michael Citro's picture

He would have been home from that game in plenty of time to watch Ohio State on TV in the 7 pm game.

tressel12's picture

Excellent read. I firmly believe that UFM will get on the team and especially the team captain for the ill-advised penalties and here's to hoping UFM and Fickell can somehow stop the missed tackles. With this being said, I still think there are some positives that can be taken with how the defense played today being that this was an extremely difficult offense to prepare for. I thought one of the more underrated plays was right after the Buckeyes lone turnover from an otherwise flawless performance from Guiton. The defense calmly diagnosed the flea-flicker (which made Texas A&M look silly earlier in the day) and Bryant made a hell of an interception. An excellent response and ability to pick up your teammate after a mistake. Cal could have easily scored on that possession which would have made it 14-7 and would have gave Cal the momentum.

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

el duderino's picture

Anyone else having David Boston flashbacks with Devin Smith's play so far this year?
Wears number 9, has an untucked jersey, routinely torches opposing defenses... Kind of spooky actually haha

"This is a very complicated case: a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous."

pjtobin's picture

I bet tress was impressed with the fake punt. It was beautifully executed. And was a total surprise. Like someone else said on a different thread, " they should have saved it for a game that they had a chance of winning. Instead of wasting getting their butts kicked". 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Poison nuts's picture

I agree with some others that Cal will be a good team in years to come. Goff is not afraid to throw & with some time will be an incredible QB. He's already getting there. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at our boys & I am proud of the response overall. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.