MADISON - Wisconsin is still heading to Indianapolis in two weeks, but the Badgers are still searching for a signature victory.
Despite a feverish comeback, Ohio State easily scored on its first possession of overtime and safety Christian Bryant made a diving pass breakup on a fourth-and-6 to give No.6 Ohio State a 21-14 victory over Wisconsin in the regular season home finale.
Defensively, Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) did its job by holding Ohio State’s offense to a season-low seven points and Heisman trophy candidate Braxton Miller to only 97 passing and 48 rushing yards, but UW’s offense couldn’t quite solve the Buckeyes despite outgaining Ohio State (360-236) and dominating time of possession (37:17 to 22:43).
Getting the ball on Ohio State’s 46-yard line with seven minutes to go and down seven, Wisconsin drove all the way to the Buckeyes 1, but senior tailback Montee Ball fumbled diving over the pile after a big hit from sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier.
That followed Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby leveling a hit on Derek Watt at the goal line that broke up a touchdown reception.
Wisconsin redeemed itself, as Curt Phillips – following a 14-yard completion to Jared Abbrederis on fourth-and-3 - completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen with eight seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.
The Badgers went just 5-for-19 on third down and could only score 14 points on seven trips into Ohio State territory.
Phillips passed for 154 yards and Ball finished with 39 carries for 191 yards – his 21st 100-yard rushing game in 28 career starts – and one touchdown to tie former Miami (OH) tailback Travis Prentice as the NCAA’s all-time touchdown scorer, but will remember his costly fumble.
It’s the first loss on senior day for Wisconsin in Bret Bielema’s seven seasons as a head coach and gives the Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) the outright Leaders Division championship.
coverage from Badgernation.com, the Internet’s No.1 subscriber site for UW sports
Audio: Inside the Locker Room
Game recap: Getting the bump in overtime
Montee Ball tied the NCAA record for touchdowns
Special teams decides another Wisconsin-Ohio State meeting
Notes: Defense is solid against Ohio State's high-powered attack, until overtime
No.6 Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14
7-0 Ohio State
1 play, 68 yards, 1:58 left
Corey Brown 68-yard punt return (Drew Basil kick)
Key Play: Special teams again play a part in this rivalry. Following Wisconsin's worst drive of the game, Brown fielded a low kick, found a running lane right through the middle of the field and went untouched into the end zone.
14-0 Ohio State
8 plays, 69 yards, 2:45 TOP, 11:27 left
Carlos Hyde 15-yard run (Drew Basil kick)
Key Play: Even with Wisconsin having five DBs on the field, the Badgers couldn't stop the Buckeyes on third down, as Braxton Miller completed a 14-yard pass on third-and-5 and a 10-yard pass on third-and-2.
14-7 Ohio State
8 plays, 82 yards, 3:57 TOP, 7:30 left
Montee Ball 7-yard run (Kyle French kick)
Key Play: Following five straight runs, Curt Phillips dials up a solid play-action pass, hitting a wide-open Jacob Pedersen for a 29-yard completion to the OSU 11.
9 plays, 41 yards, 1:25 TOP, 0:08 left
Jacob Pedersen 5-yard pass from Curt Phillips (Kyle French kick)
Key Play: On fourth-and-3, Phillips stood in the pocket and found Jared Abbrederis open on a curl route for a 14-yard gain to the Ohio State 20.
21-14 Ohio State
1 plays, 25 yards
Carlos Hyde 2-yard run (Drew Basil kick)
Key Play: Simply put, Ohio State made that look really easy, especially when Braxton Miller scrambled for eight yards to make something out of nothing.
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