Posted by Adam Jacobi
OHIO STATE WON: Braxton Miller was the hero of the night for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes scored a touchdown with 20 seconds left to stun No. 15 Wisconsin in Columbus, 33-29. What looked like a defensive struggle turned into a spectacular battle between Miller and Russell Wilson, and though Wilson won the statistical battle with 253 yards and three scores through the air, Miller accounted for both of Ohio State's second-half touchdowns and repeatedly stymied Wisconsin's defensive efforts.
HOW OHIO STATE WON: After halftime, Ohio State just plain outworked Wisconsin, especially in the trenches. Ohio State kept the ball on the ground almost exclusively in the second half, with 34 rushes and only four throws. Having said that, it was a Braxton Miller pass that saved the day for the Buckeyes; Miller scrambled out of the pocket and uncorked a 40-yard touchdown to a wide open Devin Smith (seen at right) for the game-winning score.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: When Andrew Sweat came on a blitz and hit Russell Wilson's arm as Wilson attempted a 45-game-winning Hail Mary. The ball fluttered harmlessly to the turf, and Ohio State won. It should be noted that the clock had already run out on the previous play, but Ohio State had committed both pass interference and a face mask on the play, extending the game and pushing Wisconsin 15 yards closer to the end zone. Unfortunately for the Badgers, even with the assistance from the penalty, there would be no game-winning Hail Mary heroics this week.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: It looks like it's time to start thinking of Ohio State as a Top 25 team again, and time to respect the Ohio State offense for knowing its strengths. OSU has been content to stick with a 90-10 run-pass split for long stretches of games (including, as mentioned before, the second half of this contest), and it's a formula that's yielding plenty of success, even against a tough schedule. It might be too early too say that OSU has "figured it out," but at the same time, this is a win over Wisconsin; if this isn't a sign that the Buckeyes are back, what else could be?
WHAT WISCONSIN LOST: All of a sudden, the Badgers don't even control their own destiny in the Leaders division anymore; Penn State is 5-0 in conference play, while Wisconsin is tied with Ohio State and Purdue (Purdue!) at 2-2. But most of all, what's really lost here is confidence in the Wisconsin defense, which has gotten shredded in two straight games -- and has never looked great all season long.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Aside from, oh, all of the last five minutes of play, there was one play that stuck out. On Ohio State's blocked punt that set the Buckeyes up at the Wisconsin 1-yard line, Ryan Shazier came untouched around the second wall of blockers. Brown specifically victimized Robert Burge, who to be fair is 6'7", 325, and thus not the most agile of men. But if your punter's last wall of defense can't stop someone from just running straight around it for the swat, then it's got a Maginot quality that didn't really work out too well for the French either.