|There's no reason to believe Braxton Miller won't continue his strong start to the season Saturday. (US Presswire)|
OHIO STATE WILL WIN IF: Braxton Miller keeps playing like he has through the first two weeks of the season. Remember how the world fell in love with Denard Robinson in September 2010? Well, Miller has had the same kind of start to his season, totalling 664 yards and seven touchdowns through Ohio State's first two games.
There isn't much of a reason to think he won't continue that success this week, considering that Cal's defense has allowed 31 points to both Nevada and Southern Utah in the first two weeks.
On defense it will be up to the Buckeyes' front seven -- which has limited opponents to a 2.37 yards-per-carry average through two weeks -- to force Cal into passing situations and take Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson out of the game.
CAL WILL WIN IF: It can figure out how to stop an opposing quarterback. When facing a dual-threat in Nevada's Cody Fajardo to start the season, the Bears defense allowed Fajardo to throw for 230 yards while also rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown. Fajardo is not as dynamic a player as Braxton Miller, so Cal will have to improve quickly.
Running the ball against Ohio State will be a challenge, so Cal may want to give Zach Maynard a bit more responsibility against an Ohio State secondary that has performed well for the most part, but is not a great unit. To do this, the Cal offensive line will have to keep John Simon, Johnathan Hankins and Noah Spence out of Maynard's face.
X-FACTOR: Keenan Allen. After a breakout season in 2011 that saw Allen catch 98 passes for 1,343 yards, he is off to a slow start in 2012. This Ohio State game would be a great time for him to rekindle the 2011 magic, as Cal is going to need success through the air to have a legitimate shot at beating Ohio State.