The No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) will travel west to take on the California Golden Bears (1-1) on Saturday evening in one of the weekend's most underrated matchups.
The two high-profile programs met last September in what turned out to be a thrilling showdown in Columbus. A year later, Urban Meyer will lead his Buckeyes on the road as they look to remain perfect and in the hunt for a berth in the BCS National Championship Game at season's end.
Also standing in Ohio State's way on Saturday will be Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff and the nation's top-ranked aerial assault, which is racking up more than 472 yards per game through the first two weeks of the season.
With the stage set, here we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of kickoff on Saturday night.
When: Saturday, September 14 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif.
Betting Line: Ohio State (-14.5), Over/Under: 66, according to VegasInsider.com.
Ohio State Injuries (according to USA Today)
Out: RB Carlos Hyde (suspension), CB Adam Griffin (shoulder), DT Tommy Schutt (foot), TE Blake Thomas (neck) and S Jamie Wood (shoulder)
Questionable: QB Braxton Miller (knee) and C Corey Linsley (foot)
Probable: TE Marcus Baugh (suspension)
California Injuries (according to USA Today)
Out: LB Nathan Broussard (knee), DT Austin Clark (knee), LB Nick Forbes (back), LB Chris McCain (head), S Avery Sebastian (Achilles) and LB David Wilkerson (personal)
Questionable: LB Michael Barton (knee), S Damariay Drew (head), DT Mustafa Jalil (knee), WR Kenny Lawler (head) and LB Brennan Scarlett (hand)
Probable: RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring) and WR Bryce Treggs (finger)
Top Storyline: Will Braxton Miller Start at QB for Buckeyes?
Ohio State's star quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller has taken a significant beating through the Buckeyes' first two games this season, and it remains to be seen whether the junior signal-caller will be able to go on Saturday against Cal.
Miller is currently listed as day-to-day with a strained knee ligament, suffered in Week 2's blowout win over San Diego State.
The 6'2", 215-pound dual-threat quarterback has completed 17 of 24 passes for 208 yards, two touchdowns and one interception through the first two weeks of the 2013 season. Miller threw for more than 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns a season ago while rushing for another 1,200-plus yards and 13 scores.
If Miller can't go on Saturday, look for senior Kenny Guiton to play in his absence. Guiton has appeared in 10 games for Ohio State since 2010 and has seven career touchdowns.
Even if Braxton Miller is forced to watch Saturday's game from the sideline, Ohio State should be able to escape Berkeley with a win this weekend.
Who will win Saturday's matchup?
Defensively, Ohio State is among the best in the country. Therefore, Meyer's Buckeyes should have little trouble slowing Cal's vaunted passing attack. Though the Bears rank tops in the nation in passing yards per game through two weeks, expect them to cool off significantly on Saturday.
After all, the Buckeyes rank 18th in the nation in total defense, 25th in scoring defense and are only allowing 5.5 yards per pass attempt in 2013.
On offense, Ohio State senior running back Jordan Hall has been carving up defenses to the tune of nearly seven yards per carry. Considering that Cal ranks 110th in the country in rush defense, look for Hall to have a monster night regardless of whether its Miller or Guiton handing him the ball.
Ohio State 34, California 21
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