When Kenny Guiton took over for an injured Braxton Miller last week, there wasn't the angst that came over Buckeye nation like there was last year. Guiton had proven himself, and last week he performed very well in a blowout win over San Diego State.
As this week's game against Cal inched closer and closer, and Miller's status was more and more in doubt, it seemed that there was a feeling of 'eh, okay' if Guiton had to go. There was also a school of thought that starting Guiton would be the smart play regardless as a healthy and capable backup would be a safer bet than an injured Miller.
Either way, as the evolution of Kenny Guiton has progressed, we've learned to role with the changes, haven't we, Mr. Speedwagon?
I knew it had to happen - felt the tables turnin'
Got me through my darkest hour
I heard the thunder clappin' - felt the desert burnin'
Until you poured on me like a sweet sun shower
So, if you're tired of the same old story, oh, turn some pages
I will be here when you are ready to roll with the changes
Your Golden State SMR follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Kenny Guiton, QB: I really don't know what more you can say about Guiton that hasn't been said. He ran Urban Meyer's offense like a conductor overseeing an orchestra, making great throws and runs all night. He has the Cal defense off balance and one step behind all night, and he rolled up 368 yards of offense.
Jordan Hall, RB: Hall ran with authority all night. When Ohio State needed tough yards, he got them. When the Buckeyes needed a big play on the ground, Hall got it. His 168 yards rushing was one of the most impressive performances in recent memory, and you have to wonder what will happen now that Carlos Hyde will be cleared to play.
Devin Smith, WR: Smith helped set the tone early, and after two catches he had two touchdowns and 137 yards receiving. He was quiet the rest of the night, but Smith has given the Buckeyes an explosive deep threat they lacked last year.
Dontre Wilson, RB/WR: Wilson made his presence felt early, busting a 26 yard run on OSU's first play of their second scoring drive. but he had 107 yards of total offense, and was close to scoring at least twice. Ohio State keeps getting Wilson the ball more, and he keeps making more plays.
The Secondary. All of them. Yes, Christian Bryant had an early pick, and yes, there wasn't a whole lot of pressure on Jared Goff, but 371 yards passing? To a freshman? Yikes. And Bradley Roby was particularly mediocre. He dropped a pick, and on James Grisom's 61 yard TD, he helped push Grisom towards the goal line as opposed to, you know, tackling him. And were it not for a couple of drops or overthrown balls, Goff would have had close to 500 yards passing.
Buy: Chris Carter's sack. It was a heck of an effort early in the game, and I thought it was gong to set the tone for the defense.
Sell: Michael Bennet's offsides penalty: It cost OSU dearly, as it negated an Armani Reeves interception, and Cal took advantage and scored a TD on the next play. It turned what was looking to be a huge blowout into a closeer game.
Buy: Ryan Shazier as the most important player on defense. It's obvious that he's the best player on the defense, as he just sets the tone for the rest of the unit.
Sell: Ryan Shazier's nagging injuries. How do we know that he's the best player on defense? Because every game, he leaves, seemingly at a critical juncture of the game with a malady of some sort. And the defense falters.
Buy: Braxton Miller is the quarterback of this team. Braxton Miller is the best quarterback for Ohio State. You know that. I know that. Everyone who understands football knows that. Miller is a dynamic player, and he shouldn't be benched because he's hurt.
Sell: Kenny Guiton becoming the permanent starter. I love Guiton. I love how OSU's offense runs just as good with him as it does with Miller. But he isn't going to keep starting, so to the few fringe fans think Guiton is a better option, he isn't. And when Miller does come back and throws his first incompletion, let's not start screaming for Guiton, okay? OKAY!
So OSU rolls to a big win, and after a lackluster showing by the rest of the big boys in the conference, save Northwestern and MSU, this is shaping up to be an interesting season. Michigan barely beat Akron, Wisconsin lost, Nebraska got throttled at home, and Penn State lost at home. OSU still needs to clean up some things on defense, but offensively, they're humming along. They'll finish up the non-conf with Florida A&M next week, and if you thought the Cal performance was an offensive fireworks display, next week should be a tactical nuke.