Buckeyes upset Wisconsin, 33-29

Published 12:13 am Sunday, October 30, 2011

COLUMBUS(AP) — Wisconsin had its heart broken again.

Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State a 33-29 victory over the No. 12 Badgers on Saturday night.

It was almost exactly seven days earlier that the Badgers were beaten 37-31 at Michigan State on a miracle pass on the final play of the game. The latest heartbreak, just like that one, wasn’t confirmed until it passed a video review.

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The Buckeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) won their biggest game of a season shadowed by NCAA problems.

The Badgers (7-2, 3-2) drove to the Ohio State 45 — and got an extra play after time elapsed due to a defensive facemask call — but linebacker Andrew Sweat hit quarterback Russell Wilson as he was throwing to end the game and touch off a wild celebration.

It was an incredible finish, with four touchdowns scored in the final 4:39. But the Buckeyes were the last one standing after a series of knockout punches by both sides.

Miller, a freshman, ran for 99 yards on 19 carries and scored twice, in addition to completing 7 of 12 passes for 89 yards and a score.

Dan Herron, in his second game back from two separate suspensions for accepting improper benefits, rushed for 160 yards on 33 carries.

Miller scored on runs of 1 and 44 yards — the latter putting Ohio State up 26-14 with 4:39 left. Herron rumbled 57 yards on the first play of the second half to set up Miller’s first TD.

The Badgers came in averaging 47.4 points and 512 yards, but were stymied most of the night. They also said all week that they had put the painful loss in East Lansing, Mich., in the rearview mirror. But adding in this latest loss, they may have recurring nightmares.

Wilson completed 20 of 32 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Montee Ball gained 85 yards on 17 carries with one touchdown. Jared Abbrederis had six catches for 113 yards and two scores.

Taking the kickoff to start the second half, Ohio State immediately got a big play.

Herron burst through a hole at the line and past defenders pinching the line, racing 57 yards to the Wisconsin 18. He later went 18 yards to the 1, setting up further drama.

The Buckeyes ran three plays and still had 18 inches to go on fourth down. Miller took the snap and wheeled to his right, directly into the path of end Brendan Kelly — but he missed the tackle. Miller scampered through a gaping hole for his first career collegiate touchdown and a 10-7 lead.

After the kickoff, the Badgers had to punt. For the second week in a row, things didn’t go as planned.

A week after having a blocked punt lead to points in a backbreaking 37-31, last-second loss at Michigan State, this time Ryan Shazier came in completely untouched to block Brad Nortman’s punt. The ball was downed at the Wisconsin 1 by Curtis Grant and the Buckeyes were right back near paydirt.

On Jordan Hall’s third run from the 1, he stuck his nose in the back of blocking fullback Zach Boren and slid into the end zone, putting the Buckeyes up 17-7.

The celebration was short-lived. The Buckeyes forced a punt but Hall promptly fumbled it, with Andrew Lukasko recovering at the Ohio State 27.

Wilson hit Abbrederis on a 12-yard gain and later scrambled for 8 yards to the 1. Ball then notched his 21st touchdown of the season through a wide hole on the left side to cut the deficit to 17-14.

An intentional grounding call cost Wisconsin on the second play of the fourth quarter, assuring a punt. From his own end zone, Nortman punted to Hall, with his return putting the Buckeyes in control at the Badgers 34.

But the drive stalled when Herron netted 1 yard on two carries and then Miller’s pass was low and wide of tight end Jake Stoneburner in the end zone. Drew Basil converted the 22-yard field goal to push the lead to six points.

Wisconsin came right back and drove to the Ohio State 38, but on fourth-and-2 Sweat knifed through to bring down Ball for a 1-yard gain with just over 8 minutes left to get the ball back.

The Buckeyes turned that stop into points.

Six plays later, Miller kept the ball on third-and-2 and raced through a big hole at left tackle, going 44 yards untouched for the score with 4:39 remaining.

The Badgers answered with a quick score in just 44 seconds, with Wilson hitting Abbrederis on a 17-yard score to cut it to 26-21 with 3:48 left.

Wisconsin kicked deep and then held the Buckeyes on three runs, forcing a punt.

It took just four plays to cover the 68 yards, with Wilson finding Abbrederis all alone down the left sideline for a 49-yard score with 1:18 left. A 2-point conversion pass from Wilson to Ball made it 29-26.

But the Buckeyes came right back, taking over at their own 48 after a 42-yard kickoff return by Hall.

They picked up 12 yards on three plays before Miller took the snap on first down at the Wisconsin 40 with 30 seconds left. He floated right to avoid a rush, barely sidestepped a potential tackle and suddenly noticed Smith wide open in the end zone. Miller stopped and looped the ball to Smith who caught it just before two defenders closed on him.

A crowd of 105,511 went wild.

After Basil’s extra point, the Buckeyes kicked off — out of bounds. That gave Wisconsin the ball at its own 40 with 18 seconds left.

Wilson threw three incompletions — twice off the hands of receivers who could easily have made huge plays.

As a mob of fans waited to rush the field, it was announced there was a flag on the play. It was for a defensive facemask call against defensive back Christian Bryant.

That gave the Badgers the ball at the Ohio State 45 and one final play.

But the pocket closed on Wilson and Sweat hit him from behind just as he was releasing the pass, the ball fluttering to the ground while the field filled with running, jumping fans celebrating Ohio State’s 90th homecoming.