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After watching three Pac-12 teams knock off Big Ten clubs last Saturday, Ohio State looks to make a statement for the conference on Saturday when the Buckeyes host Cal. OSU is a 17-point favorite on WagerWeb.com.
On Staurday, California cornerback Marc Anthony scored on a 61-yard interception return in the fourth quarter and the Golden Bears shook off another sluggish start at home to beat Southern Utah, 50-31. Keenan Allen had two touchdowns, one on a 69-yard punt return, to help the Bears notch their first victory at newly renovated Memorial Stadium.
A week after losing the home opener to Nevada, Cal (1-1) had 518 yards of offense but couldn’t shake Southern Utah, an FCS school playing its first season in the Big Sky Conference, until the fourth quarter when the Bears forced two turnovers and scored 30 points.
Cal senior QB Zach Maynard is fifth in the Pac-12 with a 154.2 passer rating. He has completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 474 yards to go along with three TDs and one INT. Last week in the win over Southern Utah he was 17 of 23 for 229 yards with one TD and one INT. Freshman Chris Harper is his favorite target with 12 catches for 151 yards and one score. Allen has 11 receptions in 2012 and 155 for his career for nearly 2,000 yards.
Ohio State beat a good Central Florida team 31-16. Braxton Miller became the first Ohio State quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in 34 years and he passed for another score. Miller finished with 141 yards on 27 carries. His scoring runs covered 37, 6 and 8 yards. He also found Jake Stoneburner on a 12-yard touchdown pass. Miller hit on 18 of 24 passes for 155 yards — no completion going for more than 15 yards — with one interception.
Ohio State has now won 59 consecutive nonconference home games against teams ranked outside the Top 25. The last loss: 34-17 to Florida State, Oct. 2, 1982.
OSU and California are playing for the first time in 40 years. Buckeys coach Urban Meyer’s teams are 36-4 in the month of September. Ohio State is 7-3 in its last 10 games against Pac-12 competition, dating back to the 1997 season.
Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September. Golden Bears are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games. Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. Buckeyes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win.