Cal nearly pulls off the upset in Columbus
California gave No. 12 Ohio State all it could handle but fell just short of the upset victory on Saturday in Columbus, losing 35-28 to the 3-0 Buckeyes despite out-gaining the home team by 100 yards on offense.
The Golden Bears fell behind 20-7 at the half but got back into the game thanks to its third-quarter defense, which frustrated the Buckeye offense to the tune of 25 yards and no points.
The offenses picked up the pace on both sides from there, with Cal scoring two unanswered touchdowns to take a momentary 21-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller rebounded from a lackluster third quarter to throw two of his four TD passes, the last one being a 72-yarder to Devin Smith in what would prove to be the game-winning score. Zach Maynard provided a consistent performance throughout, completing 26 of his 37 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown. However, his last attempt was picked off by Ohio State's Christian Bryant on the Buckeye 37, and the 12th-ranked team in the country was able to kneel on it from there.
Despite the loss, Brendan Bigelow was must-see TV for Golden Bears fans. He took two of his four carries to paydirt on long touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards.
The first one was especially impressive. The sophomore tailback could have easily gone down after a four-yard gain. Bigelow had other plans, however, using his right hand to support himself while spinning out of trouble and eventually bursting down the sideline for an 81-yard trip to the end zone. Moments later, he was trending on Twitter.
Cal begins its Pac-12 slate next week with another tough road trip, this time to the Coliseum for a date with No. 2 USC.