No. 12 Ohio State will try to go to 3-0 today as the Buckeyes host California (1-1) at Ohio Stadium. The game is set for noon Eastern time and will be televised nationally by ABC.
Jordan Hall could make his 2012 debut today vs.Cal
As always, we have our Ten Pressing Questions feature to prepare you for today’s game.
We will provide the answers on Sunday. Here we go:
* 1. Can they keep Braxton Miller under 15 carries? – With Carlos Hyde sidelined last week, the offense became one-dimensional with Miller carrying 27 times against Central Florida. Urban Meyer has said he would like to keep Miller to 12 to 15 carries. For Miller’s health, that may be a good policy.
* 2. How will Brionte Dunn (or Rod Smith) respond to their chance to tote the rock? – It remains a mystery who will start for the Buckeyes at tailback. Dunn, a true freshman, could get the call. But the important thing will be to see who gets the lion’s share of the work. Smith, a sophomore, fell behind in this race with a fumble late in last week’s game.
* 3. What role will returning tailback Jordan Hall play? – The prevailing thought is that Hall will be able to get on the field as he wraps up his rehab from off-season foot surgery. It’s unclear, though, how many plays Hall may get. Meyer has longed for Hall to become a key part of his new offense. We will see what the coach has in mind.
* 4. What role will Philly Brown play? – There has been talk that Brown could line up in the backfield with Miller on a more regular basis. He may even get a carry or two out of the one-back set. Of course, he is also dangerous getting downfield in the passing game. More of Philly is not necessarily a bad thing.
* 5. Jake Stoneburner caught a touchdown last week against UCF. Can that become a weekly occurence? – Stoneburner had seven touchdowns last season for the Buckeyes and got back into the scoring column last week against UCF. He can be a tremendous red zone weapon/security blanket for Miller.
* 6. Will Storm Klein get into action? – Klein sat out a two-game suspension after an off-season altercation with the mother of his daughter. Meyer initially kicked him off the squad only to bring him back after charges were lessened. Klein could have an immediate role on special teams and could also get involved on defense, where he started eight games last year. The linebacker play has been somewhat spotty so far, so maybe they give Klein a shot.
* 7. How many plays can DE Nathan Williams log this week? – Coming off microfracture knee surgery, Williams saw as many as 30 plays in the opener against Miami (Ohio). But soreness from that outing kept him out last week against UCF. Now he may have a chance to help the pass rush against Cal. It will be interesting to see how much the coaches use him.
* 8. Can the Buckeyes pressure Cal QB Zach Maynard? – The 6-3, 185-pound Maynard loves to roam from sideline to sideline and keep plays alive. The lefty has a strong enough arm to make all kinds of throws, but can get scattery when pressured. He threw 12 picks a year ago. Ohio State has managed just three sacks in two games and the Buckeyes will need to ramp up their pressure to contain Maynard.
* 9. Can CB Bradley Roby hang with Cal All-American candidate Keenan Allen? – Allen is Maynard’s half brother and the quarterback always seems to know where he’s at. Allen made 98 catches last year. It seems likely that Roby will be locked up with Allen quite a bit. Roby is coming into his prime as a college cover corner. This should be a fun match-up to watch.
* 10. Can the Buckeyes jump on the enigmatic Bears early and put them away? – It’s really hard to predict what will happen because you don’t know what Cal team will show up. Will it be the one that gave Stanford (and Andrew Luck) a scare last year before losing 31-28. Or will it be the one that laid a gigantic egg in losing at home to Nevada 31-24 in the first game at the school’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium.
You just don’t know which Cal team will show up. If it’s the good one, then the Buckeyes could be in for a tough outing. We do know that the game is at noon Eastern, which equates to 9 a.m. Pacific time. OSU needs to jump on Cal early before (yawn) the Bears are fully awake.
Hey, enjoy the game and keep the dial right here for complete coverage!
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