Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller is hoping to start despite a sprained knee when No. 4 Ohio State looks to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games against Cal on Saturday.
The junior quarterback exited last week's 42-7 victory over San Diego State in the first quarter , but he's hoping to return against a Cal team that tested Ohio State in Columbus last season before falling 35-28. If Miller isn't cleared to play, senior Kenny Guiton will get the start.
The Golden Bears followed their season-opening loss to Northwestern with an uninspiring 37-30 win over FCS opponent Portland State last week. Ohio State allowed a season-high 512 yards against Cal in last year's matchup, and the Golden Bears' offense is even more explosive this season under new coach Sonny Dykes.
Freshman quarterback Jared Goff has been a revelation with 930 passing yards in his first two games.
As explosive as their passing game has been, the Golden Bears know they need a more balanced attack to beat the Buckeyes.
Junior running back Brendan Bigelow ran for 160 yards and two scores against Ohio State last season, but he's been limited to 136 yards rushing and no touchdowns in his first two games. Cal needs a big game from Bigelow to keep pace with the Buckeyes, who should be able to exploit a Golden Bears' defense that ranks last in the Pac-12 Conference.