Quick Hits: No. 6 Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14 (OT)
Ohio State survives a trip to Madison and remains undefeated after beating Wisconsin in overtime.
|Urban Meyer celebrates another victory with his players. (US Presswire)|
OHIO STATE WON. This was not a pretty game for Ohio State, but wins are wins and you take them any way you can get them. The Buckeyes finished the game with only 236 yards of offense, as Braxton Miller had his worst game of the season. Miller finished with only 145 total yards and no touchdowns.
Meanwhile, for Wisconsin, Montee Ball rushed for 191 yards and tied the FBS record for career touchdowns by a player in the second quarter. Unfortunately for Ball, he also suffered the second fumble of his career while trying to break the touchdown record late in the fourth quarter. The Badgers got the ball back and scored with eight seconds remaining to force overtime, though.
In that overtime Ohio State scored on Carlos Hyde's second touchdown run of the day and the Buckeyes defense didn't even allow the Badgers to pick up a first down, winning 21-14.
WHY OHIO STATE WON: Defense and special teams. The defense bent, but didn't break. It had some trouble containing Ball, but it did a great job of keeping Wisconsin from putting points on the board. The forced fumble at the goal line late in the fourth quarter might have been a game saver as Wisconsin did score a touchdown later.
As for special teams, Ohio State's first touchdown came on a 68-yard punt return from Corey Brown. The Buckeyes scored again following a 69-yard touchdown drive to make it 14-0 in the second quarter. Following that touchdown, the Buckeyes offense didn't put together another offensive drive that moved further than 25 yards for the rest of the night.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: When Curt Phillips' pass to Jacob Pedersen fell complete on fourth-and-6 in the first overtime.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: The Buckeyes clinched their first Leaders Division title, which is nice even if they can't enjoy the spoils that would normally come with it. More importantly, Ohio State kept its undefeated season alive.
WHAT WISCONSIN LOST: Wisconsin cannot win the Leaders Division now, and while that hurts, the sting is lessened by the fact the Badgers will still get to play for the Big Ten title. Of course, beating Ohio State would have been pretty nice, as would the ranking that no doubt would have come with it.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Wisconsin's play-calling left a bit to be desired late in the game. Particularly in the drive that ended with Ball's fumble. I can understand why the Wisconsin coaches would want to get Ball another touchdown so he could set the record on Senior Day. In fact, a part of me respects it greatly.
But then there's the part of me that remembers Wisconsin should be putting the game ahead of the player. Everybody in Camp Randall Stadium, in the states of Ohio and Wisconsin, or watching on any television across the country, knew that Wisconsin was going to keep handing the ball to Ball in that situation.
Had the Badgers run a simple play-action, odds are Phillips finds a wide-open tight end in the end zone as the Ohio State defense crashes in to stop the run. Instead, Ball fumbled reaching for the goal line.
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