Notes: Defense Can't Tie the Bow

Without junior linebacker Chris Borland, Wisconsin's defense gave one of its better fourth-quarter efforts of the season. When it came to overtime, however, the Badgers, again, ran out of gas.

MADISON- Tasked with the challenge of slowing down the explosive Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes offense, it could be argued that Wisconsin's defense exceeded the expectations placed on them for a four-quarter game.

Problem was Wisconsin's home finale went into overtime.

Holding the Buckeyes to season lows in both rushing (139) and passing (97) yards, Ohio State had little trouble in overtime, scoring in just four plays and setting the stage for its 21-14 victory at Camp Randall.

"We need to hold them to a field goal in overtime," safety Dezmen Southward said. "So there's always something else we can do. We feel like we did a pretty good job for the most part, but we have to keep getting better."

The Badgers did a great job of containing Miller - only allowing him to rush for 48 yards on 23 carries and throw for 97 yards. Most impressively, Miller didn't score a touchdown, as the Buckeyes were held to seven offensive points in regulation

"They go as Miller goes," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. "He's a tremendous football player, tremendous poise and a lot ability to throw the ball, run the ball and to manage the game. If we were going to beat Ohio State, it was going to take 11 guys on every play to beat them, and I think everybody believed in that." "It was a big plan to stop him, if you stop him you have a chance," senior linebacker Mike Taylor added. "They have a good offense, we were just playing normal defense and for the most part we played well but it wasn't enough to win the game."

It might have been different had Wisconsin's defense been at full strength. Without junior linebacker Chris Borland, who couldn't recover from a hamstring injury suffered a week ago, the Badgers played a 4-2-5 formation the majority of the game.

"He just wasn't in a position that we could put him out there today and feel good about him not re-injuring," Bielema said, who believed Borland could return mid week. "Believe me (Chris) Borland was chomping at the bit to get out there."

It might have made a difference, as Ohio State converted its long red-zone opportunity and the Badgers' defense didn't force any turnovers after registering three last week, including one by Borland.

"I don't think we played a complete game as a defense," defensive end David Gilbert said. "We didn't get any turnovers, that was our main goal. We played well, containing Miller until overtime but lack of turnovers hurt us. I think if we could of forced a turnover it would have changed the game.

"Once again we get into overtime but things didn't go our way, just have to work harder and learn from it. But this loss will sting for like a year."

Phillips Plays Well

Knowing the Badgers were going to have to strike a balance on offense in order to have success, senior quarterback Curt Phillips made the critical throws at the end of regulation to give Wisconsin a chance.

"Curt's going through the lessons a first time starter has to go through," Bielema said. "He has tremendous perseverance, a couple of plays on him making unbelievable efforts, great throws and great catches against a very good football team. What he gave us today was worth his weight in gold."

Phillips most critical drive in the game came when he led the Badgers to the tying score at the end of regulation. After taking an 11-yard sack on first down, Phillips respond by finding Kenzel Doe for a nine-yard gain on second down and completed a 14-yard pass to Jared Abbrederis on fourth-and-3.

Jacob Pedersen was instrumental on the drive, catching two passes for 16 yards and a five-yard touchdown with eight seconds left. Phillips went 5-for-5 for 48 yards on the drive.

"That's exactly how we practice it every week," Phillips said. "I think everybody did a great job of staying composed and trusting the plan. I think we ran the same play three or four times before, and it worked for us."

Saturday was Phillips first game experience running the two-minute offense but his teammates were confident that he could lead them down the field for the tying score.

"We have all the faith in the world in Curt and he's done some great things," fullback Derek Watt said. "We're going to lean on him to carry us again in the next couple of games and finish out the season."

From the Infirmary

The offensive line suffered two injuries against the Buckeyes, the most notable being starting right tackle Rob Havenstein going down in the second quarter.

"I don't think it's a catastrophic knee injury but I think a strain," said Bielema. "Obviously will evaluate that tomorrow."

With Havenstein out for the game, senior Robert Burge replaced him at right tackle.

Extra Points: Ball broke Travis Prenice NCAA record for career points (468) with 470 points for his career…Ball passed Anthony Davis (4,676 yards) for second on the Badgers' career rushing list with 4,727 yards…Shelton Johnson made a career-high 11 tackles, his previous career high nine against Oregon State on Sept. 8, 2012…The Badgers totaled 206 rushing yards against the Big Ten's No. 1 rushing defense.

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