Ohio State vs. Cal: Five players to watch
Cal QB Jared Goff
The true freshman started his collegiate career off with a bang, passing for 935 yards in two games (the most ever for a freshman QB in NCAA history through two games). The former Marin Catholic (Marin County, CA) QB will look to exploit the 49th best pass defense in the nation this Saturday. He is 72-115 passing this year with the 935 yards and four touchdowns.
Ohio QB Braxton Miller
The dual-threat Miller sprained his left knee in the first quarter of last week's victory against San Diego State. Urban Meyer stated on Tuesday that he is "fairly optimistic" the Heisman candidate will play this weekend. Last year, in Ohio State's 29-22 OT victory over the Purdue Boilermakers, Miller was supplanted by Kenny Guiton due to injury. The backup led a comeback with a last-second, game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion to get to overtime. If Miller cannot play this weekend, Guiton will once again play quarterback for the third-ranked Buckeyes. Miller is 17-24 for 208 yards with 82 yards rushing in two games in 2013.
Cal LB Jalen Jefferson
The starting sophomore is currently third on the team in tackles, with 14 through the first two games. Jefferson will need to play well with leading-tackler Michael Barton out Saturday from a knee sprain. The Bears come into Saturday's late-afternoon game giving up an average of 530.5 yards per game to opponents.
Ohio CB Bradley Roby
The 2012 second team All-American will be put to the test against the Cal Golden Bears' air-raid offense. After being suspended the first game of the year vs. Buffalo, the projected 2014 first-round draft pick had four tackles and one pass deflection in Ohio State's 42-7 victory against San Diego State. Roby should switch off covering both of Cal's sophomore wide receivers Bryce Treggs (21 receptions, 266 yards) and Chris Harper (15, 209 yards, 2 TDs).
Cal RB Brendan Bigelow
After rushing for 55 yards on the Golden Bears' first possession of the 2013 season, Bigelow has only managed 85 yards on 31 carries (2.74 ypc). Last year in Cal's September 35-28 defeat in Columbus, Bigelow ran for 160 yards with two touchdowns, causing the Ohio State defense to "look silly as far as missed tackles," according to Urban Meyer.