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September 29, 2013
Stock Market: Ohio State
It's time to update my football stock market after Wisconsin's 31-24 loss to Ohio State in Columbus. Here are the players and position groups I'm buying, holding, and selling after Saturday's game.
Joel Stave: Stave completed 20-of-34 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns against the Buckeyes, and stepped up in a big way when the Badgers couldn't get anything going on the ground in the early part of the game. The Badgers needed him to make some big plays in the game if they wanted to win, and he kept them in the game and capitalized on a few key stops by Wisconsin's defense. He did have one interception, but it came after Tyler Marz couldn't handle a pass rusher and Stave was hit as he was releasing the ball. There's still room for growth, but Stave stepped up after an uneven game last week against Purdue.
Warren Herring: I'm starting to think that the Badgers might not be in such a big hole next year after Beau Allen graduates. Herring had two sacks Saturday night in relief of Allen, and had a sack last week against the Boilermakers as well. He still has some of that natural quickness he displayed when he played defensive end, and with a little extra weight he could be a solid player for the Badgers at nose guard next year. It's still early returns, but I'm buying Herring as a play maker right now.
Melvin Gordon and James White: Gordon and White combined for 110 yards on 23 carries against the Buckeyes, which was certainly underwhelming considering how well they've played as a duo over the last few games. But Ohio State's defensive front seven is extremely talented, and it showed on Saturday night. The filled up and running lanes that were there pretty quickly, and it wasn't until the end that Gordon or White got any traction. Gordon also came up limping near the end of the game, but Gary Andersen sounded optimistic about Gordon's prognosis. With a bye week up next and the Northwestern Wildcats coming to town the week after, my bet is that they bounce back soon enough.
Peniel Jean: Jean got burned at least twice in the game that I could recall, with both plays going for touchdowns. The first score came on Ohio State's first drive of the game, and Jean was also partially at fault along with Dezmen Southward for Ohio State's score at the end of the first half. He's still a solid open field tackler, but we might be seeing why the coaching staff has given Sojourn Shelton so many reps with the first team as a true freshman. Jean has had some tough competition recently, so pay attention to how he does against Northwestern in two weeks.
For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow John on Twitter.