Cal Playing Sloppy, But Hanging With Ohio State At Halftime


September15, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) tries to evade California Golden Bears linebacker Nathan Broussard (22) at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Cal was hoping to be 2-0 entering their game against Ohio State (with USC coming up next). However, they are only 1-1. So, to get to 2-2, they’ll have to beat Ohio State or USC on the road.

So far, not so good.

The Golden Bears led 7-6 over Ohio State towards the end of the first quarter, but they trail 20-7 at halftime. Braxton Miller has three total touchdowns, and he has kept Cal’s defense off-balance with his throws and his runs. Miller made three defenders miss at the line of scrimmage on one play, as he turned no gain into a 55-yard touchdown run. Miller leads the team with 64 rushing yards.

However, he’s also thrown the ball very well. His receivers have dropped some passes, but despite that, he keeps firing the ball in to them. It’s paid off, as he has 129 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. His throws have been on target, but his reads have stood out most to me. His receivers have been getting open, and he’s thrown the ball to the right place every time.

Cal’s defense hasn’t been able to stop Miller, since he can burn you two ways (unlike most quarterbacks). However, despite scoring only seven points, their offense has done a nice job. Zach Maynard has been good, but his stats don’t completely reflect his performance (16-for-19, 147 yards and a touchdown).

Maynard has rushed some throws, but only because the pass protection has been terrible. Maynard has gone down by way of the sack multiple times in the first half, but since his receivers have been getting open quickly, he’s been able to complete a lot of passes.

Chris Harper turned a screen pass into a touchdown by following his blocks, and C.J Anderson would’ve had a touchdown too. However, a holding penalty took that back, and another unnecessary penalty cost Cal three points. The Golden Bears got inside the 10-yard line, but they couldn’t score.

Despite committing only three penalties in the first half, the penalties have all been costly. If the Bears didn’t commit those penalties, it would be a one-score game. However, they still have a great chance of winning. If Cal can stop playing sloppy football and find a way to stop Miller, they will have a great chance of winning.

But if Miller burns them again, Cal can kiss a winning record goodbye.