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Ohio State Stock Market Report: Illinois

60 points isn't impressive enough for some people, but sometimes, winning is enough.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports


Here's the deal for me. I've gotten kind of sick and tired of having to defend what has become a 22 game winning streak.

22 games. Urban Meyer has not lost as the Ohio State coach; if you're wondering, that's pretty good. Yet folks tend to get wrapped up in 'style points', and whether or not a victory was impressive enough to sway voters.

To hell with the voters. There is a sizable contingent of folks that are never going to give OSU any credit for what they do, to include some of Ohio State's fans, fergodsakes, and they'll look at today's result (well, they already are) and say 'how can you consider OSU a national title team when you give up 35 points to Illinois?'

I refuse to look at the negative in this, because they just tied the longest winning streak in school history. Think about that for a minute. In the long history of OSU, and all the great coaches, all the great players, and all the great teams, the Buckeyes have gotten to this point exactly once before.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm not going to get worked up about what I have no control over, and just continue rolling with these good times. Good times...roll. What say you, Mr. Ocasek?

let the good times roll
let them knock you around
let the good times roll
let them make you a clown

let them leave you up in the air
let them brush your rock and roll hair
let the good times roll
let the good times roll
let the good times roll

let the stories be told
they can say what they want
let the photos be old
let them show what they want

let them leave you up in the air
let them brush your rock and roll hair
let the good times roll
let the good times roll-oll
lets let the good times roll

good times roll

Your SMR that refuses to feel sorry for itself because it's won 22 straight follows.

Blue Chips:

Braxton Miller, QB: I just laugh and chuckle when Miller runs the ball anymore, because he's just not fair. When he housed a 70 yard run on the third play of the game, I just shook my head in amazement. It was the first of over 200 yards rushing for Miller. He was only 13-29 passing, and he was hurt and missed some time, but today was a day where he showed a ton of maturity, too. Miller has become a complete quarterback this year. On passing plays, he keeps his shoulders square and eyes downfield, looking to make a throw, where in past seasons he would tuck the ball and run. Watching him grow and mature has been a heck of a treat this year.

Carlos Hyde, RB: Carlos Hyde is one of the best backs in recent OSU memory. Until today, I thought he was a step below guys like Antonio Pittman and Beanie Wells, but I don't know that he doesn't belong in that conversation. From a career standpoint, no. But he is turning in one of the best seasons an OSU running back has had in recent years. Barring something catastrophic he'll be Meyer's first 1,000 yard back, and his 248 yards is a career best. But to me, his most impressive play was his TD reception in the second quarter. It was a swing pass to the sideline, and he juked a defender, tiptoed the out of bounds line, and showed a nice burst of speed into the end zone.

Ryan Shazier, LB: Shazier was money again, registering an incredible (but yet somewhat under-the-radar) 16 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and had the defensive play of the game. After Illinois had closed to two touchdowns, the Illini were pinned deep and dropped back to pass into their own end zone. Riley O'Toole didn't see Shazier blitz, and he hit O'Toole hard, knocking the ball loose; the end result was a safety. It shook OSU out of their doldrums, and the offense would add another score to make it 44-21 and essentially put the game out of reach. It also caused Illinois coach Tim Beckman to almost punch offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. Because LOL, Tim Beckman.

Cam Johnston, P: Johnston is a kicking stud. His six punts averaged 57 yards per punt. Five of his six kicks were over 50, and three of his kicks put Illinois inside the 20. When you consider the windy conditions, you can't help but be impressed with what Johnston did Saturday.

Solid Investments:

Joey Bosa, DE: Bosa was a force from the outside, and until he got hurt the Buckeyes defense was playing very well. He had 2.5 sacks and has been the biggest surprise on a defensive line that had a lot of incumbent talent. Bosa made the most of his opportunity when Adolphus Washington was hurt, and hopefully, his injury isn't serious and he won't be out long. He has come on strong in the last few weeks and is becoming the best pass rusher on the defensive line.

Junk Bonds:

Punt Return Unit minus, you know, the punter. When you give up an average of 24 yards per return, to include a 67 yard return for a touchdown...Yeah, it's not a good day.


Buy: Philly's touchdown reception. Philly Brown is one of the most situationally aware receivers the Buckeyes have had in recent years. He knows where the sideline is, he knows where the first down marker is, and he always gives his quarterback a good target to throw the ball to. His 11 yard over the shoulder touchdown was a beautiful throw and catch.

Sell: Philly's first punt return. After a 62 yard punt, Philly fielded the ball at the 25, and tried to make something happen. Not a lot of good generally happens when you field a punt and go East-West, and nothing good happened here. Brown lost 11 yards, and with a penalty the Buckeyes started the drive on their own six, as opposed to the 25.

Buy: The defense having the potential to be very good. For 30 minutes today, the Ohio State defense was insane good. They were stuffing the run, they had picked off Nathan Scheelhaase twice, and were creating all kinds of mayhem for the Illini. They gave Illinois a gift TD towards the end of the first half, but two of the three starting linebackers were out.

Sell: What the defense did in the second half. I'm not sure if it was complacency or if the defensive staff just dialed it back and were willing to give up yards to run time off the clock because the game was in hand, but Illinois made some plays, Scheelhaase made some nice throws, and before you knew it the Illini had gotten to within 14 points, had momentum, and an opportunity to turn this laugher into a ballgame. It wasn't really over until late, and although the defense was dealing with several injuries both before (Curtis Grant) and during (Bosa) the game, it was still a frustrating return to what we saw earlier in the season. After the progress they had made the last few weeks, it was a definite setback.

Buy: The early interceptions from the secondary, to include the pick six. Part of the great play by the defense in the first half was due to turnovers the secondary created on two of the first three Illinois possessions. The first one was on the fourth Illinois play of the game and set up the offense on their 42. the second one turned in to a 63 yard pick six by Bradley Roby, and gave the good guys a 21-0 lead before the first quarter was over.

Sell: The play of the secondary in the second half. And much like the defense stumbled through the second half, it was in no small part due to the secondary. Scheelhaase threw for almost 300 yards as Illinois really had OSU on their heels for long parts of the second half. The Buckeyes went from attacking to laying off, and Illinois made the most of it.

But you know what? 22 straight games without a loss, so we're really splitting hairs on a lot of this. All I'd say is you can't get bent out of shape over what you can't control, and right now OSU doesn't really control whether or not they're #1 or #2 in the BCS. All they can do is keep winning, win the Big Ten, and let the chips fall where they may.

As the previous 22 games have shown, the winning part hasn't been an issue.