Pryor helped Ohio State snap Wisconsin’s 16-game winning streak in Madison and gave the Buckeyes their 12th consecutive Big Ten road win. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 144 yards and rushed for 20 more. Beanie Wells had another big game with 168 yards.
Pryor, however, was the hero of the night by leading Ohio State on a game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
“All the hype, and all the people saying, ‘You’re great,’ this is the time to show it,” Pryor said.
Ohio State led early, taking the first possession of the game and marching down the field. Beanie Wells rushed for a 33-yard touchdown, dragging Wisconsin’s Shane Carter into the end zone. The Ryan Pretorius PAT gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. That score led as both teams’ struggled to move the ball against the respective defenses. Wisconsin eventually tied the game with 4:35 left before halftime on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Allan Evridge to Mickey Turner.
Wisconsin kicker Philip Welch added the PAT and later gave the Badgers (3-2, 0-2) a 10-7 halftime lead when he booted a 20-yard field goal with one second left in the first half.
After forcing Wisconsin to put to start the third quarter, the Buckeyes got back on the scoreboard on a 21-yard field goal by Pretorius at the 7:43 mark. Wells started the 10-play drive with a 54-yard run down the right sideline. That put the ball at the Wisconsin 26, and Ohio State drove all the way to the 3-yard line before being forced to kick a field goal that knotted the game 10-10.
Ohio State took a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on another Pretorius FG, this one from 34 yards. Wisconsin then took the ball and answered with a 2-yard touchdown run by P.J. Hill. The Badgers rushed the ball on nine of the drive’s 10 plays, with John Clay highlighting the march with runs of 14 and 17 yards.
The Welch PAT made it 17-13 Wisconsin with 6:31. That gave the Buckeyes enough time, however, to go on a memorable winning touchdown drive.
Starting at the OSU 20 with 6:26, the Buckeyes gained four yards on their first two plays to set up a third-and-6 at the 24. With the Madison crowd in a frenzy, Pryor took a shotgun snap and found Brian Hartline open over the middle for a 19-yard gain to the 43.
The Buckeyes got a break on the next play when Pryor fumbled but recovered the ball. Again fortunate shined on Ohio State when the next play also included an OSU fumble. Pryor again found Hartline alone over the middle on a 27-yard gain to the Wisconsin 35, but Hartline had the ball stripped. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, Brian Robiskie was there to recover the loose ball at the 35.
Six plays later, Pryor took a shotgun snap on a second-and-8 at the UW 11. He rushed left on an option play with Wells on the outside. A Badger defender converged on the tailback, allowing Pryor to race up-field for the game-winning touchdown. Pretorius’ PAT made it 20-17 with 1:08 remaining.
Wisconsin had a chance to answer but its hopes of stealing the victory were quickly extinguished when OSU’s Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a Evridge pass with 53 seconds remaining.
“It was incredible the way he handled that last drive,” Wells said. “He’s a special player, and he has so many great things ahead of him.”
1997: No. 7 Ohio State 23, No. 11 Iowa 7: Iowa tailback Tavian Backs entered Ohio Stadium averaging a NCAA-best 208.8 yards per game, but he left with a much lower average thanks to OSU linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer and the rest of the Buckeye defense.
Banks was held to 84 yards on 22 carries, and the Buckeyes cruised to the victory in their Big Ten opener. Katzenmoyer set the tone early in the game, stopping Banks for no gain and then a 2-yard loss on Iowa’s first two offensive plays.
“It was essential for us to come out and do that,” Katzenmoyer said. “We had to do that to show we could play with them and that we were the real deal.”
Added Banks: “I think he probably won the Butkus Award today.”
Ohio State’s Pepe Pearson rushed for 106 yards and backup Michael Wiley added 85 and two touchdowns to lead the seventh-ranked Buckeyes. OSU took a 10-0 lead into halftime thanks to a Wiley 1-yard score 38 seconds before the break. David Boston caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Stanley Jackson early in the third quarter, and Wiley added an 11-yard score late in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
“Mike and myself just did what we’re supposed to do,” Pearson said. “We each had pretty good games and (Banks) was just unfortunate enough to go against a great defense. We have a pretty good defense and they didn’t allow him to run the ball.”
Iowa had outscored its previous four opponents 221-46, but the Hawkeyes had little success against the OSU defense. Katzenmoyer led the way with 11 tackles, two for a loss. Kevin N. Johnson added nine stops, and Ahmed Plummer and Jim Bell each recorded sacks.
“I thought the effort we gave on defense was the best we’ve had in a long time,” OSU head coach John Cooper said. “We might not be as good as we’ve been in the past, but we got after those Hawkeyes pretty good today.”
1986: Ohio State 14, Illinois 0: Chris Spielman kept his promise to a paralyzed 15-year-old high school football player, and the Buckeyes took care of business against the Fighting Illini.
Spielman promised Upper Arlington, Ohio, ninth grader William McClure, who was paralyzed because of a injury suffered during a preseason football practice, that he would intercept a pass in that week’s game vs. Illinois. The junior linebacker kept McClure in suspense until the final minute in the game, when Speilman stepped in front of Steven Pierce to pick off a Brian Menkhausen pass on the Illini’s final offense play.
“Just like the Bambino,” Speilman said, alluding to the famous gesture by Babe Ruth about a home run that he was going to, and did, hit at Wrigley Field.
“I also told him I was going to get a touchdown,” said Speilman, who spent two hours with McClure at Children’s Hospital in Columbus earlier in the week. “I hope he’s not too mad at me for not doing that.”
Another solid defensive effort helped Ohio State move over the .500 mark (3-2) for the first time in the ‘86 campaign. The offense only needed a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jim Karsatos - his first of the season - on a bootleg to earn the win. Ohio State did add another score, however, on a halfback pass for a touchdown. Vince Workman took a pitch from Karsatos and rolled left, only to stop and find flanker Nate Harris streaking toward the left corner of the end zone. Workman’s pass was a good one, and Harris made a sliding catch for the final score of the game with 1:15 remaining in the first half.
“It’s one of our trick plays,” OSU head coach Earle Bruce said. “It didn’t surprise me. I figured we could catch them playing a zone defense. … Most teams, when they see Vince coming around, are going to come up fast trying to stop the run.”
Speilman led the defense with 12 tackles, an interception, a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery. Sonny Gordon added 11 tackles and also recovered a fumble.
Following the game, Speilman told reporters that he was going to take the ball he intercepted to McClure in the coming days.
1980: No. 11 UCLA 17, No. 2 Ohio State 0: The Buckeyes were dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage in a blanking at Ohio Stadium.
The game was close at halftime, with the Bruins holding a slim 3-0 lead. However, UCLA scored touchdowns on its first two third-quarter possessions to put the game away. Quarterback Art Schlichter was sacked five times and completed only 11 of 27 passes for 128 yards with two interceptions.
It was the first time Ohio State had been shut out in 27 games.
1975: No. 2 Ohio State 41, No. 13 UCLA 20: Archie Griffin led the way with 160 yards on 21 carries, and quarterback Cornelius Greene added 218 yards of total offense in the road victory.
Greene rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 98 yards on 6 of 9 passing. Ohio State remained unbeaten through four games and silencing the crowd of 55,482 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Ohio State would meet the Bruins again that season in the Rose Bowl, with UCLA earning revenge with a 23-10 victory to derail OSU’s national title hopes.
1969: No. 1 Ohio State 41, Washington 14: Ohio State won its 16th straight game with a rout of the host Huskies in Seattle.
Rex Kern piled up 267 yards of total offense in the win with two touchdown runs, and fullback Jim Otis added 111 yards rushing. Otis also scored three times from inside the Washington 5. OSU’s final score came on a 5-yard sweep by backup QB Ron Maciejowski midway through the fourth quarter.
Ohio State outgained Washington 502-328 and was helped by two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
1958: No. 3 Ohio State 12, Washington 7: The Buckeyes avoided an upset in Washington’s first trip to Ohio Stadium.
The Huskies took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter before Ohio State responded. Bob White set up OSU’s first score with an interception at the Washington 27. Sophomore quarterback Jerry Fields, playing in place of injured senior Frank Kremblas, turned the turnover into points with a 1-yard drive. The extra-point failed, however, leaving the score 7-6 in favor of the Huskies.
Ohio State finally took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter thanks to a muffed punt. Bob Schloredt received a bad snap on a punt and OSU’s Oscar Hauer blocked the kick. Jim Marshall recovered the ball at the Washington 27, and seven plays later, Don Clark scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.
1952: Purdue 21, No. 15 Ohio State 14: Turnovers doomed Ohio State in a loss at home to the Boilermakers.
Purdue’s three scores resulted from a fumble recovery, blocked punt and interception. The Boilermakers had a lead less than four minutes into the after turning a John Hlay fumble into a touchdown. In the second quarter, Johnny Kerr blocked a Bill Peterson punt. Tom Bettis picked up the loose ball at the OSU 9 and ran it in for a score. Finally, a Phil Mateja interception of a John Borton pass led to a max Schmeling 3-yard tuochdown run five plays later.
1947: Purdue 24, Ohio State 20: Former OSU teammates faced off, with first-year Purdue coach Stu Holcomb besting Wes Fesler’s Buckeyes.
Ohio State came from behind twice in the game and almost did so a third time before Purdue stopped a Buckeye drive at the Boilermaker 30 with one minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
1941: Ohio State 33, USC 0: Paul Brown’s Buckeyes posted a big upset over the Trojans in California for OSU’s first win on the West Coast.
Using Brown’s Spilt-T offense, Ohio State built a 20-0 halftime lead on scoring drives of 83, 80 and 81 yards. Fullback Jack Graf scored the first touchdown on a 2-yard dive, and Charlie Anderson and Dick Fisher added scores on runs of 17 and 29 yards.
Graf added a 48-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Bob Shaw, and Fisher added a second touchdown on a 5-yard dash. The Buckeyes outgained USC 469-67 and led, 18-5, in first downs.
It was the first time USC had been shutout at home since a 27-0 loss to Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame team in 1930.
1930: Ohio State 23, Indiana 0: Twenty fourth-quarter points led the Buckeyes past the visiting Hoosiers.
Carl “Tubby” Ehrensberger’s second-quarter field goal represented the only points in the first half, but Ohio State dominated the second half. Ohio State outgained Indiana, 276-68, in the win.
1924: Ohio State 7, Purdue 0: The Buckeyes finished a disappointing 2-3-3 in 1924, but Ohio State did post its first Big Ten victory at Ohio Stadium in it season opener.
The lone touchdown came on a 56-yard pass from halfback Bill Hunt to fullback Marty Karow on the first play of the second quarter.
The game marked the first time Ohio State’s opening game came against an opponent from outside Ohio.
1919: Ohio State 38, Ohio Wesleyan 0: An Ohio Field record opening-day crowd of 7,200 watched the Buckeyes beat OWU.
Chic Harley dazzled the crowd with a 35-yard touchdown on his first carry of the afternoon.
1913: Ohio State 58, Ohio Wesleyan 0: Before the season began, Ohio State joined the Western Conference which would later become the Big Ten and the Buckeyes opened the ‘13 campaign with a blanking of the Battling Bishops.