MADISON – Having relied on its defense all season to knock off opponents, No.8 Wisconsin couldn’t get enough stops or enough offense to slay another giant.
Home underdogs for the first time since 2010, and double-digit home underdogs for the first time since 1997, No.8 Wisconsin built a 16-6 lead at halftime but couldn’t hold off Ohio State in the second half and overtime, allowing the Buckeyes to escape with a 30-23 victory in front of 81,541 at Camp Randall Stadium
Ohio State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) needed only four plays to strike first in overtime on a 7-yard touchdown catch by receiver Noah Brown and relied on its defense to sack redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook on fourth down to end the game, denying the Badgers their third win against a top-10 opponent.
Wisconsin (4-2, 1-2) was in control throughout the first half, but the roles quickly reversed after halftime. The Badgers were out gained 111 to 17 in the third quarter, running only 17 plays and holding the ball for only 5:10.
Worse yet the Badgers made gaffes when they had the ball, as a Hornibrook interception set up a J.T. Barrett touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Punching the ball in on consecutive drives, Barrett gave Ohio State its first lead at 20-16 with just over 14 minutes remaining and finished with 226 passing yards and 92 rushing yards.
UW responded with the drive of the season, an old-school 11-play, 81-yard drive that chewed up 6 minutes, 11 seconds on the clock. The drive included a 39-yard completion to Jazz Peavy on third-and-9, a shovel pass to a tight end and a four-yard touchdown run by fullback Austin Ramesh.
Ohio State nearly took the lead right back on the next series, but senior safety Leo Musso solo tackle on Barrett on third down saved a touchdown and forced the Buckeyes to take the three points. UW advanced to midfield on its final drive but couldn’t get close to field goal range.
After being held below 100 yards against top-10 teams LSU, Michigan State and Michigan, senior tailback Corey Clement finished with 164 yards, including a 68-yard run in the first quarter that was the longest play from scrimmage by UW since November 2014. That set up UW’s only touchdown in the first three quarters.
Ohio State’s defense entered the game holding teams to 10.8 points, 244.6 total yards and 96 rushing yards per game. In the first 30 minutes, the Badgers delivered 16 points, 313 total yards and 170 yards on the ground, a season high for the program against a top-10 opponent.
In fact, the 313 yards were more than Ohio State allowed in games against Bowling Green, Tulsa, Rutgers and Indiana. Hornibrook started clutch for Wisconsin with four of his nine completions going for at least 15 yards, including a 30-yard completion to Troy Fumagalli that set up Andrew Endicott’s third first-half field goal. He struggled in the second half but still finished with 214 yards.
Wisconsin’s defense was stout early and held the Buckeyes to only three points on its first three red-zone drives. That included a four-yard tackle for loss on third-and-3 from the four and safety D’Cota Dixon registering an end-zone interception in a downpour after Barrett sailed a pass over receiver James Clark early in the third quarter.
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No.2 Ohio State 31, No.8 Wisconsin 24, OT
8 plays, 52 yards, 3:48 TOP, 9:03 left
FG Andrew Endicott 46
Key Play: Wisconsin attacked the outside against Ohio State on its opening drive, having quarterback Alex Hornibrook roll out to his left to hit tight end Troy Fumagalli for 28 yards on UW's first play and a jet sweet to Jazz Peavy for 12 yards to the Buckeyes' 25.
4 plays, 95 yards, 1:08 TOP, 6:17 left
Jazz Peavy 24-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook (Andrew Endicott kick)
Key Play: Wisconsin's running game could be bottled up no longer. Pinned at its own five, Clement broke a play to the outside, got a downfield block from receiver Quintez Cephus and raced 68 yards to the Ohio State 27.
11 plays, 67 yards, 3:31 TOP, 2:46 left
FG Tyler Durbin 20
Key Play: Ohio State's offense marched right down the field on its third drive of the game, but outside linebacker T.J. Watt and inside linebacker Jack Cichy came up big on third-and-3 from its own 4, tackling Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett for a four-yard loss.
11 plays, 67 yards, 3:31 TOP, 2:46 left
FG Tyler Durbin 20
Key Play: Give J.T Barrett enough time and the junior is going to find a way to make a play, After a long scramble, and avoiding a sack by T.J. Watt, Barrett found Curtis Samuel for 25 yards on third-and-13 to the Wisconsin 28.
13 plays, 61 yards, 5:56 TOP, 2:47 left
FG Andrew Endicott 32
Key Play: After struggling with pocket awareness against Michigan, Alex Hornibrook smartly stepped up in the pocket and hit Troy Fumagalli for 30 yards to the OSU 10, another big third-down conversion for UW.
10 plays, 61 yards, 1:43 TOP, 0:14 left
FG Andrew Endicott 22
Key Play: On the tailback screen, Corey Clement got a big block from right guard Beau Benzschawel and gained 18 yards to the Ohio State 5.
13 plays, 47 yards, 4:54 TOP, 2:52 left
J.T. Barrett 1-yard run (Durbin kick)
Key Play: Having the chance to get off the field on third down, T.J. Watt missed a sack opportunity on J.T. Barrett, allowing Ohio State's quarterback to hit Noah Brown for a 9-yard gain, setting up a successful fourth-and-short conversion to the UW 12.
20-16 Ohio State
6 plays, 38 yards, 2:39 TOP, 14:09 left
J.T. Barrett 8-yard run (Durbin kick)
Key Play: After playing smart with the football throughout the game, Alex Hornibrook made a critical mistake with a crossfield throw that badly missed its mark and was intercepted by cornerback Gareon Conley at UW 38.
11 plays, 81 yards, 6:11 TOP, 7:54 left
Austin Ramesh 4-yard run (Endicott kick)
Key Play: Shaking off the interception from the previous drive, Alex Hornibrook and Jazz Peavy connected on what could be the play of the game - a 36-yard completion on third-and-9 to the OSU 44.
9 plays, 61 yards, 3:57 TOP, 3:57 left
FG Tyler Durbin 31
Key Play: Dontrae Wilson's 41-yard completion put Ohio State at the Wisconsin 21, but senior Leo Musso's solo tackle on J.T. Barrett saved a touchdown and forced the Buckeyes to take the points.
30-23 Ohio State
4 plays, 25 yards.
Noah Brown 7-yard pass from J.T. Barrett (Durbin kick)
Key Play: After UW missed a tackle attempt on each of Ohio State's first four plays, Brown gets big separation in one-on-one coverage against Derrick Tindal on third-and-2 for the score.
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