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Backup QB Guiton shines, Ohio State beats Cal

The SportsXchange

BERKELEY, Calif. -- It took Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton just two plays to set a school record. It took him just six minutes to throw three touchdown passes. And it took him only one start to create a problem for coach Urban Meyer.

Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller, last season's Big Ten offensive player of the year, was unable to play Saturday because of a left sprained knee he sustained last week against San Diego State. However, his replacement, Guiton, and running back Jordan Hall provided more than enough offense for the No. 4 Buckeyes to pull out a 52-34 victory over Cal at Memorial Stadium.

Guiton, a senior, got his first college start, and he made an immediate impact. On his second snap, he threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith, which was the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history.

"Oh, man, that's pretty cool, man," said Guiton regarding the record. "I just saw Devin beat his man, and I just laid it up for him."

Guiton then threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Smith on his fourth snap of the game, and hit Chris Fields on a 1-yard scoring pass with 9:00 left to give the Buckeyes (3-0) a quick 21-0 lead.

Guiton finished 21-of-32 for 276 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, and he ran for 92 yards.

Guiton said he was never told he would be the starter Saturday, although Meyer said he knew by Thursday that Miller would not play against Cal.

However, after Guiton's performance, the coach admitted he will have difficulty keeping Guiton off the field when Miller returns.

"I don't know," Meyer said. "I think Kenny will get in the game a little bit. It's something I'll have to think about. He threw the ball downfield better than he has. He gets the ball to the right people at the right time."

Hall added 168 rushing yards on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns, including a 1-yard scoring run that gave the Buckeyes (3-0) a 38-20 lead early in the third quarter.

Smith caught just three passes but amassed 149 receiving yards and had two touchdown catches.

The Buckeyes piled up 608 yards of total offense against a porous Cal defense that ranked 116th of 123 FBS teams in total defense after its first two games.

Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff, who entered the game leading the nation in passing yardage, was 31-of-53 for 371 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

"I think he's tremendous," Meyer said of Goff, "and I told him that after the game."

The Bears fell to 1-2 under first-year coach Sonny Dykes despite accumulating 503 yards of offense.

"We knew they were going to get a lot of yards," Meyer said.

In a wild first half, the Buckeyes raced to a 21-0 lead on Guiton's three early touchdown passes. Goff responded with two scoring passes in the first half, which ended with Ohio State leading 31-20 after Cal's Vincenzo D'Amato kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter.

"It felt like we had momentum coming out of halftime," Goff said. "We just didn't start off the way we should have in the first half or second half."

Hall's scoring run early in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes an 18-point advantage, then Guiton threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown to make it 45-20.

"We had a good chance to come out and make plays early on," Goff said. "We fell behind the eight-ball (by) going down, but we fought back and never quit. We stayed with it and kept playing our game."

NOTES: Ohio State has won 15 in a row, the longest active winning streak in the country. ... The Buckeyes have won seven straight against Cal, including last year's 35-28 Buckeyes victory in Columbus. The Bears' only win against Ohio State came in the teams' first meeting, in the Rose Bowl after the 1920 season. ... Braxton Miller needed just 13 yards rushing to pass Cornelius Greene as Ohio State's career rushing leader among quarterbacks. ... After a bye next week, Cal plays its third ranked opponent this season when it faces No. 2 Oregon on Sept. 28.
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