California and Ohio State are two teams that seem to be heading for drastically different seasons. The Buckeyes seem to have gotten themselves back on the map with two impressive victories to open the year, while the Golden Bears lost their season opener to Nevada and stumbled to victory against Southern Utah.
While Ohio State has the advantage in this game, Cal might have the top NFL Draft prospect on the field in junior wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen will be dealing with erratic quarterback play all year long, though, and Ohio State's defense should be able to take full advantage of that.
Ohio State's massive defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins would scoff at the idea of Keenan Allen being this game's top prospect. The 322-pound lineman could be on his way to getting drafted in the top five in April's draft.
After the jump, check out the prospects to watch, a key matchup and the question of the night.
Ohio State Buckeyes 2013 NFL Draft prospects:
Offense: No. 74 - Jack Mewhort, LT - 6'6, 312 pounds (Junior), No. 71 - Corey Linsley, C - 6'3, 295 pounds (Junior), No. 34 - Carlos Hyde, RB - 6'0, 232 pounds (Junior), No. 10 - Corey Brown, WR - 6'0, 187 pounds (Junior), No. 11 - Jake Stoneburner, TE/WR - 6'5, 245 pounds
Defense: No. 54 - John Simon, Leo - 6'2, 263 pounds (Senior), No. 52 - Johnathan Hankins, DT - 6'3, 322 pounds (Junior), No. 6 - Etienne Sabino, OLB - 6'3, 237 pounds, No. 4 - C.J. Barnett, S - 6'1, 202 pounds (Junior)
California 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
Matchup of the Night
Keenan Allen against the Buckeyes' secondary
Keenan Allen will have to overcome both poor quarterback play and an experienced Ohio State secondary to rack up yards in this contest. He will likely be matched up with cornerback Travis Howard, and C.J. Barnett is sure to provide insurance over the top at safety. Allen may have a tough time making plays.
Question of the Night
How will Ohio State's defense handle Cal's team speed?
Ohio State's defense is ripe with NFL talent, but Cal has some speed at the skill positions. The Buckeyes will have to prive they can contain that type of speed to contend in the Big 10. Particularly, it wil be interesting to see if Golden Bears running back Isi Sofele can find any running lanes against the tough Buckeye linebackers.