By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, September 9th, 2012 at 10:25 am in Football.
The coach complained about penalties and turnovers after a double-digit victory.
Cal’s Jeff Tedford?
Yes, but in this case, it was Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, following the No. 14 Buckeyes’ 31-16 win over Central Florida on Saturday.
“(With) turnovers and penalties, you can’t win,” Meyer told the Columbus Dispatch. “That’s not a good team. Right now we’re not — I don’t want to say we’re not a good team — but we’re not. We’re just mushing around out there. And we’ve got to be much better than we are.”
Ohio State (2-0) had 10 penalties and three turnovers against Central Florida.
And just as the Bears have some health issues — OT Matt Summers-Gavin (knee), TE Richard Rodgers (foot) and LB Chris McCain (shoulder) are all questionable for Saturday’s game — the Buckeyes also have injury problems, especially at running back.
Projected started Jordan Hall missed the first two games with a foot injury and his status for Cal is unclear. Backup Carlos Hyde sprained his knee vs. UCF and is not expected to play this week. Freshman Warren Ball is out for the year.
“Offensively, we’re down to our third tailback, and it looked like it,” Meyer said. “We have to get better. We have to go back to the drawing board and make some decisions on who is going to physically touch that ball, and they have to take care of it, obviously.”
The Buckeyes’ running backs totaled 110 yards on 24 carries against Central Florida.
True freshman Bri’onte Dunn could get the start against the Bears. Dunn had five carries for 29 yards against UCF, but he is no ordinary freshman. A 6-foot-1, 210-pound, five-star recruit from Canton, Ohio, Dunn accumulated 5,479 rushing yards in high school.
Meyer wants to utilize but not jeopardize his star sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, who rushed the ball 27 times for 141 yards and three TDs against UCF. The Buckeyes have gotten 664 yards rushing and passing and seven touchdowns from Miller in two games, but don’t want to expose him to quite as many hits as he’s taking.
Still, given Cal’s troubles containing running quarterbacks — for instance, Cody Fajardo just two weeks ago — Miller is a major concern. Perhaps, THE concern.
A few other notes on the Buckeyes:
– Their attendance Saturday of 104,745 — equivalent to a mid-size town — marked the first time since 2009 the Buckeyes didn’t cram at least 105,000 into Ohio Stadium.
– Cal is 1-5 all-time vs. Ohio State, without a win since the 1920 Rose Bowl.
– OSU climbed to No. 12 in this week’s AP Top-25. The last time Cal beat a non-conference opponent on the road with such a high ranking? It was 1969, a 17-14 win over No. 10 Indiana.