COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A glance at the Ohio State players named to preseason watch lists and how they performed in a 35-28 win over California on Saturday:
QB Braxton Miller, So. (Maxwell, O'Brien): There wasn't nearly as much room to run, so Miller simply went to the air to put points on the board. He set a career high with four passing touchdowns, and for good measure created some space with an incredible juke to spring himself for a 55-yard scoring rush.
DE John Simon, Sr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Lott IMPACT): Limited by a shoulder injury that nearly caused him to miss the game, the captain gritted his way through the afternoon and picked up his first sack of the season in the process. Simon's numbers aren't overwhelming through three games, but his importance to the Buckeyes can't be overstated.
DT Johnathan Hankins, Jr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland): The big man had been having an impact early in the season without having many personal statistics to show for it, but that dramatically changed against the Golden Bears. Hankins had a hand in 10 tackles and broke through for a sack in a dominant outing on the interior.
WR Corey "Philly" Brown, Jr. (Biletnikoff): The leading receiver for the Buckeyes was largely held in check, coming up with just three catches for 31 yards and only getting one carry for 5 yards. The emergence of Devin Smith as another viable threat at receiver could help him down the line as it gets harder for opponents to defend multiple targets on the perimeter.
TE Jake Stoneburner, Sr. (Mackey): Every catch was meaningful for the Buckeyes, just as usual with Stoneburner. Of the three grabs against Cal, the senior turned two of them into touchdowns and the other was an explosive 40-yard gain.
SS C.J. Barnett, Jr. (Thorpe): The defensive back had a hand in 10 tackles and made one behind the line of scrimmage, easily his best performance this season in a small sample size. Barnett has broken up three passes so far this year, but he's still looking for a few turnovers to try to get his name back in any awards conversation.
K Drew Basil, Jr. (Groza): Other than his tackle on a kickoff, there wasn't much for Basil to look back and remember fondly from the win over Cal after missing an extra point in the first quarter and not even attempting a field goal for the second time this season.
LB Etienne Sabino, Sr. (Butkus): Fellow linebacker Ryan Shazier isn't making it easy to keep pace for the team lead in tackles, but Sabino is still finding ways to contribute at the second level. He chipped in seven tackles and his first sack of the season in the victory.
RB Jordan Hall, Sr. (Walker): Understandably lacking crispness in his first outing since offseason foot surgery, Hall still came off the disabled list to lead the Buckeyes with 87 yards rushing. He combined well with Miller on the option, and the rushing attack should only improve as Hall gets acclimated to the offense moving forward.