For the second consecutive game in Columbus, the Badgers pulled a trick play on special teams. In the 2007 meeting with Ohio State, Wisconsin ran two fake punts with punter Ken DeBauche, one of which led to a first down for the Badgers.
This time around the Badgers ran a fake field goal, which resulted in a nine-yard touchdown run for senior safety Chris Maragos, and was, what turned out to be, their only touchdown of the game.
Wisconsin had done their homework against the Buckeyes and were looking to capitalize on what they saw on film.
"I was excited all week, man," Maragos said. "We thought we were going to get a certain look and we were on a certain spot where we got the look, and they came out in it. Garrett made a nice block and I just tried to get to the sideline and, you know, put it in. I knew I was in. I mean, I felt like, I didn't feel like there was any need to review it. I knew I was in the whole time."
The Badgers certainly picked the right guy to run the fake in Maragos, who started eight games for Western Michigan at wide receiver in 2006 before transferring to Wisconsin.
"It felt good," Maragos said. "It kind of brings you back (to being a wideout)."
Freshman Stepping Up
With John Clay being contained for much of the game by the top ranked defense in the Big Ten, Montee Ball saw some extended playing time during the third quarter. Ball, who played his first collegiate game last week, touched the ball on three consecutive plays, two of which led to first downs for Wisconsin.
During a third quarter drive, Ball took a hand-off and gained nine yards for a Wisconsin first down. Ball then took the next hand-off four yards. On the ensuing play, the true freshman caught a check down by quarterback Scott Tolzien which went for 10 yards, and another Badger first down.
"We were grinding on them pretty good," Bielema said. "I thought Montee Ball came in and do some good things." Coach Bielema showed confidence in the young running back in just his second game of the season by throwing him into the lineup at crucial junctions of the game. Overall, Ball rushed three times for 19 yards and caught 2 passes for 22 yards.
Big Time Play at DE
While the Badgers spent most of the game with their offense on the field, it was another spectacular game for senior defensive end O'Brien Schofield. Schofield ended the game totaling seven tackles, which included 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks of Terrelle Pryor.
Schofield helped to contain Pryor, one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the nation when he breaks containment and gets into the open field.
"We have quick defensive ends," Schofield said. "I knew that I could run and be with him. I was excited, he actually ran to my side a couple times. I felt that he was able to control the game for those guys and if we was able to stop him, I thought we could stop them offensively and I thought that we did that defensively."
Schofield has recorded two sacks for the second consecutive game, and has had at least one sack in four of the last five games. Schofield has been putting up impressive numbers at defensive end. He has totaled 33 tackles (22 solo, 11 assists), 14.5 tackles-for-loss, and 6.5 sacks on the season.
Special Teams Notes
With a lot of the focus on the big plays on both special teams and defense, one player that stood out for the Badgers against Ohio State was Brad Nortman. The sophomore punter had a good day punting the ball and constantly flipped the field position for Wisconsin.
Nortman had quietly been solid throughout the season. Against Ohio State, Nortman had 4 punts averaging 48.8 which included a long of 61 yards early in the first quarter. On the season Nortman is averaging 44.3 yards per kick with 8 kicks downed inside the 20.
Sophomore Philip Welsh had an up and down day against the Buckeyes. Welsh converted on field goals of 50 and 46 yards. He joined Taylor Mehlhaff as the only Badger kickers to have two 50-yard field goals in a season, and is now tied with Mehlhaff for the most career 50-yard field goals in Badger history.
Welsh also missed two field goals on the day from 57 and 33 yards. Welsh is now seven of 12 on field goals, with a long of 57 on the season.