The last time Ohio State came to Madison it got a dose of Camp Randall magic. That was 2010, and in 2016 it was the Buckeyes turn at magic, as they came away with a 30-23 overtime victory over the Wisconsin Badgers.
After taking a 16-6 lead in to halftime, the Badgers couldn’t hold the Buckeyes down all game long and it led to a complete comeback thanks to star quarterback J.T. Barrett.
He threw for 226 yards and added 92 yards on the ground, coming up with three total touchdowns in the second half and overtime. The final of which was a 7-yard TD pass to Noah Brown in the overtime period that proved to be the game-winner.
That also put Wisconsin on its heels, needing a touchdown of its own to keep the game alive. UW’s hopes died as quarterback Alex Hornibrook slipped on a 4th-and-goal in overtime and couldn’t get a pass off.
It wasn’t the first mistake for the redshirt freshman quarterback, who finished the game completing 16 of 28 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown to one interception. He was also sacked four times and put under immense pressure throughout the game.
Barrett was the story in the second half, but Ohio State’s defense also came up big, clamping down in a Badgers offense that amassed 313 yards in the first half. UW was held to just 137 yards in the second half and overtime period.
However, the Badgers showcased something everyone wanted to see — a good rushing attack.
MADISON, WI – OCTOBER 15: Corey Clement #6 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs with the football during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium on October 15, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
The return of Corey Clement led to the resurgence of the Badgers offense. Clement finished the day rushing for 164 yards on 25 carries and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.
Couple that with an opportunistic defense that held the Buckeyes out of the end zone for nearly three quarters, and the Badgers found a recipe for success on the night. That included an incredible effort from linebacker Jack Cichy.
He led all defensive players with 15 total tackles (11 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and a forced fumble in the loss.
Sadly, the recipe for UW’s success was also figured out by the Buckeyes. Wisconsin had little answer for the second half adjustments of the Buckeyes, but had just enough to keep themselves in the game.
Wisconsin started off the game by holding Ohio State in check on its first possession, and then turning around and orchestrating an 8-play, 52-yard drive that resulted in a 46-yard field goal from Andrew Endicott.
It was a sign of efficiency to come for the Badgers offense in the first half.
However, the biggest storyline of the first half was the return of running back Corey Clement. He was revved up and ready to go early on and it resulted in some big plays for the Badgers.
Clement put up 110 yards in the first half alone, with a 68-yard scamper from Wisconsin’s own 5-yard line highlighting his performance. That big play led to Wisconsin flipping the field quickly and it eventually led to a 24-yard touchdown pass from Hornibrook to Peavy.
He led a UW rushing effort that racked up 170 yards in the first half, with quarterback Alex Hornibrook going for 143 yards and a touchdown as well.
UW’s 313 yards in the first half were more than Ohio State came in averaging per game to opponents (244.6).
Wisconsin’s defense wasn’t too shabby in the first half, bending at times but holding the Buckeyes out of the end zone in the first 30 minutes of the game.
It all added up to a 16-6 advantage as the teams went in to the locker room at the half.
Ohio State appeared to make the better adjustments during half time and used it to their advantage in the third quarter.
After gaining 313 yards in the first half alone, Wisconsin mustered up all of 11 yards in the third quarter.
The Buckeyes took advantage of the Badgers offensive woes, using a short field to get in to the end zone for the first time on a 1-yard effort from Barrett.
It was still 16-13 Badgers, but following a first down by Wisconsin the Buckeyes got the ball right back thanks to Hornibrook’s first pick of the night.
Ohio State pounced on that opportunity as well and took its first lead of the game (20-16) early on in the fourth quarter. Barrett got in the end zone from 8 yards out with 14:09 to play in the game.
Wisconsin wasn’t done in this game though, and the ensuing drive showed the mettle of the Badgers.
Hornibrook shook off some bad moments and led an 11-play, 81-yard drive that took 6:11 off the clock and gave UW a 23-20 lead late in this game.
It would be the last great moment of the game for Hornibrook, who couldn’t find the extra spark needed in the final moments of this game.
Wisconsin’s defense also couldn’t hold the fort, as Ohio State drove 61 yards in nine plays that put the team in field goal range.
Tyler Durbin knocked home a 31-yard field goal to tie the game up at 23-23 with 3:57 left to play.
After driving nicely to midfield, Wisconsin’s last effort stalled out and UW was forced to punt and flip the field with just :49 seconds left in the tie game. Ohio State took the knee and chose to play for the win in overtime.
Given the different momentum of the respective offenses, it was the smart choice for the visitors. That smart thinking paid off in overtime, as Barrett got the Buckeyes over the hurdles it set in front of itself due to penalties.
In the end, it was a the Buckeyes taking it 30-23 and Wisconsin left wondering “what if” in a true slugfest of a game.
The Badgers will look to erase their two-game losing streak with a trip to Kinnick Stadium to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at 11am CT next Saturday.
The post Badgers tripped up by Buckeyes in 30-23 OT Thriller appeared first on Madtown Badgers.