Buckeye Leaves: Cal Game

Ohio State stayed perfect for the season and the Urban Meyer era with a 52-34 win against California on Saturday night. A lot of players had standout days, but who gets our Buckeye Leaves? Read on to find out.

BSB staffers pick our Ohio State players of the game. To give us your vote, go on to the Ask The Insiders message board.

Ben Axelrod
Can you say "quarterback controversy?" No, seriously. Urban Meyer has a dilemma on his hands. Braxton Miller might be the most athletically talented signal caller to walk through the halls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but he hasn't displayed the passing prowess that Guiton has in the first few games, turning what was once an inefficient Ohio State offense into anything but that. Miller entered 2013 as the Heisman Trophy front runner, but sometimes, you just have to ride the hot hand. Right now, that's Guiton, who for the second consecutive week has proven that he can contribute as more than just a coach for Meyer's second team in Columbus.

Pat Brennan
Freshman RB Dontre Wilson tallied career highs in carries and yards, as well as a career-long rush, and opened up the Ohio State offense during the team's 52-34 win. In what might have been the most impressive game of his young career, Wilson showcased his speed and ability to quickly get to the outside. On just five carries, Wilson went for 59 yards, and those yards proved valuable as his carries provided an additional threat to the fifth-year RB Jordan Hall's power-run game and junior receiver Devin Smith's deep threat in the passing game. A long rush of 26 yards highlighted Wilson's night, and each quick scurry to the edge of the line of scrimmage diversified the OSU offense. Hall tallied each of OSU's touchdowns on the ground, but the ever-present threat of Wilson's speed and lateral quickness made those scores possible. Not bad for the first road game of the true freshman's career.

Ryan Ginn
Once again, who else but Kenny Guiton? The fifth-year senior quarterback delivered a career performance under remarkable circumstances, getting his first start on the road against California. His remarkable start – he completed 4 of 5 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns in his first three drives to help the Buckeyes take a 21-0 lead – swiftly removed any doubts about how Ohio State would perform away from home. He kept up his high level for all four quarters, finishing with 276 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 92 yards on the ground in a convincing triumph.

Matthew Hager
Sometimes the obvious answer is the correct one. That's why Kenny Guiton gets my vote. The fifth-year senior continues to impress, throwing for 276 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start. As has become the norm, Guiton has expertly led the Ohio State offense – whether it be in the option game or by finding the right time to drop a well-thrown pass for a big play. He's far from a perfect quarterback – he's not fast enough and occasionally inaccurate when passing the ball – but Guiton has easily been OSU's most valuable player so far this season.

Marcus Hartman
Who else but Kenny Guiton? He cooled off after a hot start, but that start was key for a young team on the road without its most dynamic weapon. It was expected the defense would give up some yards and points, so it was key for the offense to keep the pressure on. Guiton ran the offense with a steady hand and complied 368 total yards. His decision making was key in the second half and helped running backs Dontre Wilson and Jordan Hall find room to run for a combined 227 yards.

Jeff Svoboda
I mean, Kenny Guiton is obviously the player of the game, but I'll give my Buckeye leaf to Devin Smith. His ability to take the top off the defense allowed the Buckeyes to take a huge early lead, one that paced the victory, and that helped soften things up for the rest of the offense. Smith finished with three catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully he'll be healthy after taking quite a shot from teammate Philly Brown on a late rush, but it was a big day for Smith.

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