Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller did not play Saturday, but his replacement, Kenny Guiton, and running back Jordan Hall provided more than enough offense for the No. 4 Buckeyes to pull out a 52-34 victory over Cal at Memorial Stadium.
Miller, the Big Ten offensive player of the year last season, was not in uniform after suffering a sprained knee in the first quarter of last week's victory over San Diego State.
Guiton, a senior, got his first college start as a result, and he made an immediate impact, throwing three touchdown passes in the first six minutes of the game.
Guiton finished 21 of 32 for 276 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, and he ran for 92 yards.
Hall added 168 rushing yards on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns, including a 1-yard scoring run that gave the Buckeyes (3-0) a 38-20 lead early in the third quarter.
Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith caught just three passes but amassed 149 receiving yards and had two touchdown catches.
The Buckeyes piled up 608 yards of total offense against a porous Cal defense that ranked 116th of 123 FBS teams in total defense after its first two games.
Ohio State padded an 11-point halftime lead by scoring the first 14 points of the third quarter, and it held off the Bears from there.
Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff, who entered the game leading the nation in passing yardage, was 31 of 53 for 371 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
The Bears fell to 1-2 under first-year coach Sonny Dykes despite accumulating 503 yards of offense.
After Hall's scoring run early in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes an 18-point advantage, Guiton threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown to make it 45-20.
In a wild first half, the Buckeyes raced to a 21-0 lead on Guiton's three early touchdown passes. Goff responded with two scoring passes in the first half, which ended with Ohio State leading 31-20 after Cal's Vincenzo D'Amato kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter.
Guiton threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith on the Buckeyes' second offensive play, which was the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history.
Ohio State also scored on the second play of its second possession as Guiton launched a perfectly thrown 47-yard touchdown pass to Smith.
After a Goff fumble, Guiton hit Chris Fields with a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0 with 9:00 left in the opening quarter.
Cal scored on a 61-yard pass from Goff to James Grisson to make it 21-7, and after a 39-yard field goal by Ohio State's Drew Basil, Goff threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Chris Harper to close within 24-14 in the final minute of the second quarter.
Jordan Hall's fourth-down, 1-yard scoring run made it a 31-14 game in the second quarter before D'Amato's field goal late in the half.
NOTES: Entering the game, Ohio State had won 14 in a row, which is the longest active winning streak in the country. ... The Buckeyes came into the game having won six straight against Cal, including last year's 35-28 Buckeyes victory in Columbus. The Bears' only win against Ohio State came in the teams' first meeting, in the Rose Bowl after the 1920 season. ... Braxton Miller needed just 13 yards rushing to pass Cornelius Greene as Ohio State's career rushing leader among quarterbacks. ... After a bye next week, Cal plays its third ranked opponent this season when it faces No. 2 Oregon on Sept. 28. ...