Ohio State Stock Market Report: Clemson, Orange Bowl 2014

Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes look to an uncertain short term future - Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Turnovers eventually spelled doom for Ohio State Friday night in Miami.

I was worried about the Orange Bowl for awhile. Clemson, for the most part, has moved past their 'Clemsoning' tendencies about as well as Michigan State has moved past their 'SPARTY NOOOO' inclinations, and I thought this was a very tough match up for the Good Guys. And for awhile, it looked like Clemson might run OSU out of the Orange Bowl, as their offense looked crisp and the Buckeyes defense looked tentative. In a weird first half, OSU got thoroughly outplayed for most of the half, yet somehow went into the locker room leading, 22-20.

In the third quarter, OSU seemed to seize momentum and take control, and it looked like they might be in a position to put the game away. But turnovers, and a terrible, horrid defense did them in. And OSU is now on a two game losing streak. With key guys leaving for the draft, the tepid performance of the defense, and assistant coaches leaving for other jobs, we have a Bad Moon Rising for the first time in the Urban Meyer era:


I see the bad moon rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see bad times today.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

All right!

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

Your SMR that ends era follows.

Blue Chip Stocks:

Jamal Marcus, DL: Played fierce in place of Noah Spence. Had some big tackles in the first half and put some pressure on Tajh Boyd.

Solid Investments:

Jeff Heuerman, TE: He had a tough drop in the first quarter (it would've been negated by a penalty, but still) but a HUGE 57 yard TD catch in the second quarter that got OSU within five points. All the more impressive when you considered he needed fluids before the game and still wasn't right from a 72-hour stomach flu/bug.

Carlos Hyde, RB: Hyde wasn't all world, but had what seemed to be a game changing moment with his 4th-and-1 dash down to the Clemson one. When he went over and OSU went up 29-20, I thought the Buckeyes were on the verge of taking the game over.

Junk Bonds:

Braxton Miller, QB: Miller played with guts, and made some typical Braxton 'OHMYGODDIDYOUSEETHAT' plays, but he threw two backbreaking, crippling interceptions that cost Ohio State the game. Miller took an absolute beating at the hands of the Clemson defense, and that last game ending interception was mind numbingly baffling. One of Miller's biggest reasons to leave for the NFL was because of the punishment he takes in this offense, but he has almost everyone telling him to return to school. The next week or so will be telling for the future of Miller, and the OSU football team, for that matter.

Buy/Sell:

Buy: Vonn Bell interception. When Vonn Bell was announced as a starter for the Orange Bowl, a lot of fans were excited to see the former five star recruit get rolled out to see what he could do. His first career pick couldn't have come at a better time. With Clemson up 14-9 and getting ready to score again, Bell made a huge pick that stopped Clemson from turning the game into a blowout by halftime.

Sell: Vonn Bell one-on-one on Sammy Watkins. Of course, one of the reasons Clemson jumped out to an early lead was a completely horrid defense. Clemson gashed OSU all night long, and by the time they had run 10 plays, they had 14 points on the board. The tenth play was a 32 yard strike to superhuman Sammy Watkins that Bell was badly beaten on.

Sell: Braxton's 68* yard sack on the opening drive: As smooth as Clemson looked on their opening drive, OSU looked completely disjointed. On third down, Miller took a big sack, but Clemson was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty that gave OSU new life. Still, it was a bad play by Miller that showed a serious lack of pocket awareness.

* = Obviously wasn't really 68 yards, it merely felt like it at the time.

Buy: Braxton's high step TD run on same opening drive. So with new life after the throat slash motion penalty, Ohio State still kind of bumbled and stumbled. They had a clipping penalty, a false start penalty, but still managed to overcome those and score a TD on Miller's Walter Payton/Adrian Peterson high step juke run.

Sell: Oh, the interceptions. God damn it. Just...god damn it, Braxton. Especially the game ending one. God. Damn. It.

Buy: C.J. Barnett's interception. When Miller fumbled on 4th down with just over three minutes left, it seemed over. Clemson had the ball, the lead, and all the momentum. But Barnett picked off Boyd and gave the Buckeyes the ball at midfield with a minute and a half left. It felt like it was going to be an OSU win. Yeah, whatever. I hate football.

Sell: Luke Fickell as defensive coordinator. There is too much raw talent on this team for this kind of defensive performance to be turned in week in and week out by Ohio State. There is no excuse, there is no rationalizing it away. Look, I like Fickell, and when Everett Withers left for James Madison, I was willing to give Fickell an opportunity to see what happened when it was 100% his show. He failed. Perhaps miserably. I figured Tajh Boyd would get his yards, as would Sammy Watkins – but not an entire season's worth in one game. Terrible.

Buy: Philly Brown's 100+ yards receiving. Philly Brown was making money all night on the quick WR screens. He was patient, read his blocking, and when it was all over, he had eight catches for 116 yards.

Sell: Philly Brown's punt return fumble. OSU shot themselves in the foot all night long, and Brown was the first one to cock the hammer and fire. In the third quarter, with OSU leading 29-20, it looked like the defense as finally pulling their head out of their ass. They forced a punt, and the OSU was decidedly with the Buckeyes. You kind of felt that if they could go down and score again, it would be really, really tough for Clemson to come back and win. But Brown muffed the punt, Clemson recovered, and three plays later Sammy Watkins made a sick catch for a TD. It was a new ball game.

POSTMORTEM: So Ohio State closes the BCS era without winning more BCS games than anyone else, or without winning all four BCS bowls. Urban Meyer also loses his first, and what will be only, BCS game with OSU. It was a bitterly disappointing two game thud to end the season, and you have to feel that there are a couple of dark clouds hanging over the program right now. For starters, what will Miller and Ryan Shazier do? Shazier most certainly will turn pro, and that leaves a defense dangerously bereft of playmakers down one more. If Miller leaves, that means Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett will enter Spring Ball as the starter. With the new division alignments, OSU will have a far more difficult schedule, and with no Miller, I don't think you can count them as the favorites heading into next year.

And is there any way Meyer stands pat with the defensive assistants? What happens if Tom Herman somehow works his way into the mix at the soon-to-be-vacant Louisville gig? At the end of the day, OSU is still going to be a top program, but all of a sudden, they seemingly have a lot more troubling questions facing them than they did a few days ago.

Finally, on a person note, this will be my last piece for Land-Grant Holy Land. I've loved every minute of the last two years, but as the familiar reference goes, time and change. Life gets in the way of fun stuff like this, so sometimes you need to quit doing some of the fun stuff when life gets in the way.

I want to thank Luke Zimmermann, Matt Brown, and the entire staff of LGHL for their friendship and camaraderie while we got this thing going, and I'm pretty proud of what we've accomplished in our two short years in the blogosphere. It's only going to get bigger and better, so when these guys are rich and famous, at least I'll be an answer to a trivia question, like the original drummer for The Beatles.

Godspeed, and Go Bucks.

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