OSU - Braxton Miller has had a great two weeks. He is averaging 332 all-purpose yards per game. So far this season, he has passed for 362 yards (32-for-48) and rushed for 302. Each week, his legs are taking him farther into the Ohio State record books.
CAL - Under center for the Cal Bears is Zach Maynard. The senior is fifth in the Pac-12 with a 154.2 passer rating. He has passed for 474 yards this season and three touchdowns. While he hasn't done it much this season, he can also run the ball, but not to the effectiveness of his counterpart - Ohio State's Miller.
EDGE - OSU
OSU - Carlos Hyde sprained his MCL on Saturday against UCF and Jordan Hall is still on the sideline with a foot injury. With the Buckeyes' top two running backs out, Bri'onte Dunn will be getting the start against the Bears on Saturday. He's played in limited amounts in the first two games, having 12 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Meyer has also been using Corey "Philly" Brown in the run game, who had two rushes on Saturday totaling 33 yards.
CAL - The carries have been split pretty evenly this season by Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson. Sofele has rushed for 126 yards on 24 carries while Anderson has had 19 carries for 112 yards. Total, the rushing game has put up 402 yards over the first two games.
EDGE - Cal
OSU - Brown has been Miller's favorite target so far this season with 13 catches for 135 yards. Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, Jake Stoneburner and Zach Boren are also very capable targets for Miller. The five receivers all have big-play capability pending on the game plan of the day.
CAL - The biggest threat the Ohio State defense is going to have to contend with his wide re
ceiver Keenan Allen. While he's a huge threat in the return game, he's also dangerous in the passing game. He's caught for 136 yards in two games and a touchdown and is a favorite target for his half brother - Maynard. The other big receiver for Cal is Chris Harper, who has 151 yards on 12 catches.
EDGE - Even
OSU - The line has allowed four sacks this season, but have also provided great room for the running game. Total, the Buckeye running game has put up 550 yards this season. This though, might be the toughest line the Buckeyes have faced this season, so it will definitely be a test to see how far they've come.
CAL - The line has allowed four sacks in 2012, but like the Buckeyes, have given ample room for the running game to do their work. The line is anchored by seniors Matt Summers-Gavin and Brian Schwenke. They have each started 26 games in their careers. Besides those two, the line is a bit inexperienced, which could be a benefit for the Buckeyes.
EDGE - OSU
OSU - The Ohio State line has only allowed 102 yards rushing so far this season, but that number is a bit deceiving considering the Buckeyes allowed -1 yard against a throw-first Miami team. The line will have some work in front of them Saturday, as the Bears bring in a total of 442 yards rushing in two games to Ohio Stadium.
CAL - The Cal defense has been among the best in the Pac-12 the past few seasons, and there isn't a unit on the defense that doesn't have some sort of big playmaker. On the line, it's Deandre Coleman. The senior has 14 tackles this season, two for loss and 1.5 sacks. He had a career high eight tackles in the opener against Nevada.
EDGE - Even
OSU - Ryan Shazier is having quite the start to his sophomore season. He's leading the team with 14 tackles and three bass breakups. Etienne Sabino has registered 10 tackles so far and made his first career interception on Saturday against UCF. Cal uses a good mix of run and pass, so the Buckeyes will have to be on their toes.
CAL - The Bears have led the Pac-12 in pass defense the last two seasons, and it starts with in
side linebacker J.P. Hurrell. The senior had three sacks last week against Southern Utah. The other inside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme is Robert Mullins, who leads the team with 20 tackles this season, two for loss. This might be the most pressure Miller has felt in the 2012 season.
EDGE - Even
OSU - The defensive backs have had some heavy statistics the first two games. Christian Bryant has 12 tackles on the year and Bradley Roby has put up 10 tackles and four breakups. Orhian Johnson, who isn't listed as a starter but always sees plenty of playing time, had a huge interception on Saturday against the Knights.
CAL - Safety Josh Hill is tied for first on the team with 20 tackles and Marc Anthony has the only interception on the team so far this season. Like Ohio State, the secondary has been getting a workout the first two games, and will have to contend with whether or not Miller is going to get it done with his legs or his arm.
EDGE - OSU
OSU - The Buckeyes' return men haven't made any breakaway plays so far this season, but with the speed of Brown, Smith and Armany Reeves, they are always capable. Veteran Drew Basil has been flawless this year on PATs and is made the one field goal he's been asked to kick.
CAL - Allen is a game changer on the punt return team. He averages 22.17 yards per return and already has a return for a touchdown this season. In two games, he has returned for 133 yards. He's only used on the punt team as Brendan Bigelow and Mike Manuel are used on kick returns. Vincenzo D'Amato is 4-of-5 this year in field goals, missing one from 31 yards.
EDGE - Cal
The Bears play in the Pac-12, have had strong statistics in certain categories and have some very dynamic players. Miller will probably need to take over with the running game banged up, and the defense needs to keep Maynard and Allen in check. It will be close, but I see the Buckeyes pulling it out at home.