Final: Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29
October, 29, 2011
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Another week, another Saturday night thriller and for the Wisconsin Badgers, another deflating loss.
No Hail Mary heartbreak this time, but Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller spoiled the Badgers' furious comeback with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds remaining. Miller, who completed one pass all game Oct. 15 against Illinois, rolled to his right and released the ball just before crossing the line of scrimmage.
Wisconsin's defense left Smith wide open in the end zone, just as Ohio State's defense had left Jared Abbrederis open for a 49-yard score moments earlier. Two HUGE defensive breakdowns by two normally sound teams in the final minutes.
For the second consecutive week, Wisconsin mounted a dramatic comeback on the road in a raucous environment. The Badgers scored twice in the final 3:48. An Ohio State defense that had been so solid all night had a breakdown at the worst possible time, as safety Christian Bryant helped on the wrong receiver and left Abbrederis wide open.
But Miller rescued the defense and made the biggest play of his young career.
Ohio State's victory keeps its hopes alive in the Leaders division race and possibly ends Wisconsin's chances. The Badgers will have a tough time recovering from this one, which might be more painful than what happened last week in East Lansing.
Penn State is the only team unbeaten in Big Ten play and sits two games ahead of both Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions must still visit both Columbus and Madison.