Wisconsin had it's share of opportunities, but in the end it was the Ohio State Buckeyes that took advantage of theirs as they remain undefeated after a 21-14 overtime victory in front of a stunned Camp Randall crowd.
Just like the 2010 version of the game at Cam Randall it was a special teams return that set the tone for the game, only this time it was to Ohio State's advantage as Corey "Philly" Brown returned a Drew Meyer punt 68 yards for the opening score.
In his final appearance at Camp Randall senior running back Montee Ball gave one of his best efforts, rushing for 191 yards on 39 carries and scored one touchdown, tying the all-time career TD record in the losing effort.
However, it was his counterpart, Carlos Hyde, that made the biggest impression on the game. Hyde rushed for just 87 yards on the day but had both of the Buckeyes offensive touchdowns, the last of which proved to be the game winner in overtime.
After opening up a 7-0 lead on the Badgers it was momentum and advantage to the Buckeyes. They held the Badgers on the next drive and after starting on their own 31 yard line Ohio State drove right down the field on Wisconsin, capped off by a 15 yard run by Carlos Hyde from 15 yards out to go up 14-0 early into the 2nd quarter.
The route appeared to be on, but the Badgers weren't going to give up and they continued to fight back, putting the game back within reach on the very next drive. They went on their own 8 play drive, this time for 82 yards on the back of their running game and Montee Ball who emphatically capped the drive with his record tying touchdown.
With 7:30 left in the 2nd quarter it was game on at 14-7 to the Buckeyes. The score remained that way through halftime and a scoreless 3rd quarter.
In fact, the action got down right boring until late in the 4th quarter when Wisconsin's offense and more importantly Curt Phillips woke up. After starting the game 4-11 for just 61 yards in the 1st half it was Phillips and Montee Ball that combined to get the Badgers back in the game.
Of course it wouldn't be a Badgers – Ohio State game without late 4th quarter dramatics as of recent times, right? Well, that would be the case once again.
After Wisconsin kicker Kyle French missed a 40 yard field goal attempt that would've made the game 14-10 both teams traded punts and it appeared as if that's how the game was going to end up. We hadn't seen anything different all half after all.
But, that all changed when the Badgers got the ball back with 7 minutes left in the game. The Badgers took over on the Ohio State 46 yard line and nearly stopped when Montee Ball gained just 6 yards on a 3rd and 7. However, QB Curt Phillips completed the QB sneak on 4th and 1 to keep the hopes alive.
After that Wisconsin would sit with a 1st and 10 at the 11 yard line, gaining 10 yards on the ground on 3 downs, leaving the Badgers one yard from paydirt and a 1/2 a yard from a 1st down on 4th and inches. Of course it would be Montee Ball getting the rock, only as he dove towards the endzone it was Buckeyes LB Ryan Shazier that he would met. Shazier punched the ball loose and instead of a 1st down for Wisconsin it was 1st and 10 for OSU with less than 3 minutes left.
Wisconsin held and with 1:33 left in the game it was do or die time. That's when senior QB Curt Phillips showed just what Wisconsin fans had hoped to see all along when he came to Wisconsin. Phillips made the big throws all the way down the field, leading Wisconsin to a 1st and goal at the OSU 5 yard line on an 11 yard pass to Jared Abbrederis (3rec, 40yds).
After spiking the ball on 1st down Phillips was forced into having to throw the ball into the endzone with just 13 seconds remaining on the clock. On the very next snap it was his poise and moxie that shown through as he completed a bullet to tight end Jacob Pederson for a touchdown with just :03 remaining on the clock.
Phillips finished the day 14-25 for 154 yards passing and the game tying touchdown, a more than respectable effort from the quarterback no one knew if he could throw or not.
Ohio State got the ball back at their own 20 yard line after the touchback on the kickoff, took a knee and went into overtime.
That's when Carlos Hyde reared his head again, rushing for 19 yards on two plays to put the Buckeyes on the door of scoring in the first OT period. He finished off his effort with his 2nd touchdown of the game, putting OSU up 21-14 and forcing the Badgers to have to score a TD of their own to keep the game alive.
Wisconsin couldn't get going on their possession and were left with a difficult 4th and 9 which came up empty thanks to a great play by Ohio State safety Christian Bryant who broke up what would've been a 1st down pass to tight end Jacob Pederson.
With that play the Buckeyes sealed their 21-14 win and earned their 2nd straight victory in as many years over the Badgers, avenging their 2010 loss their last trip to Camp Randall.
Wisconsin racked up 360 yards of total offense in the loss, holding the Buckeyes to just 236 yards. In the losing effort the Badgers actually did something most teams couldn't – run the football, gaining 206 yards on the ground as a team.
However, none of that mattered as they couldn't counter the one big mistake they made on the day.
Up next for the Badgers is a trip to Penn State to finish out the regular season. The game is set for Saturday at 2:30pm Central and will air on ABC once again.