CAL VS. OHIO STATE
RECORDS: Cal 1-1; Ohio State 2-0.
KICKOFF: 4 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Berkeley.
SERIES HISTORY: Ohio State leads 6-1. The Bears won 28-0 in the first meeting at the 1921 Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes won 35-28 last year in Columbus.
STORYLINES: The Bears conclude their three-game, season-opening homestand against the No. 4 Buckeyes, hoping to beat a nonconference Top-5 opponent for the first time since toppling No. 4 Alabama 13-0 in the Jan. 1, 1938 Rose Bowl. Cal has lost 18 straight nonconference games to Top-5 foes since then. … OSU, playing at Berkeley for the first time since 1972, has a 14-game win streak, best in the nation. … Preseason Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller is a game-time decision because of a sprained left knee. If he can’t go, senior backup Kenny Guiton gets the call.
INJURY UPDATE: Cal — FS Michael Lowe (ankle) is probable. LB Nick Forbes (back) and DE Chris McCain (head) are questionable. LB Michael Barton (knee), DE Brennan Scarlett (hand) and DT Mustafa Jalil (knee) are out. Ohio State — QB Braxton Miller (knee) and DE Adolphu Washington (knee) are questionable.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s running game vs. the Ohio State defense. The Bears need to rev up their ground attack to provide a complement to the passing game, triggered by freshman Jared Goff, the NCAA passing yardage leader. It won’t be easy against a Buckeyes defense that has allowed just 137 rushing yards in two games, at just 2.2 yards per attempt, and has not given up a rushing touchdown.
STATS THAT MATTER: Cal is ninth nationally in total offense (582.5 yards per game), but just tied for 55th in scoring (33.5 ppg), partly because five of its 10 red-zone opportunities have ended in field goals. … Cal is 4-50 all-time vs. Top-5 opponents, winning just once in 27 tries since 1975. … Ohio State has not allowed a point in the first or fourth quarter. … Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is 44-4 in games played in August or September.