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Buckeyes defense has Cal freshman in its sights
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Columbus, Ohio • If there's one thing other than a dinner buffet that gets the attention of a big defensive lineman, it's a freshman quarterback.

"A true freshman can be really athletic and all that," Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett said. "But it's easier to get flustered and to get a little nervous — especially when you see a defensive line closing in."

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes' defense is well aware that the signal-caller for Saturday's opponent, California, is just a few months removed from worrying about prom dates and getting to his home room on time.

Jared Goff is the Bears' rookie quarterback — and also the focal point for the Buckeyes' defenders.

"I don't feel that much pressure," said the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder Goff, out of Kentfield, Calif. "I'm just doing what I've been doing since I came in this spring. I'm just doing my best. If we have to throw the ball a lot of times, we throw it a lot."

Oh, the Bears throw it a lot, all right. And Goff is certainly no easy mark. He has gotten off to a terrific start and is leading the nation with 930 yards passing in two games in coach Sonny Dykes' wide-open, hurry-it-up offense.

Dykes isn't worried about Goff getting jittery over playing one of the nation's top teams on national TV.

"We'll just tell him last week was on national television and he probably won't know the difference," he cracked.

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