Revisiting recent Buckeye battles
MADISON – Over their past five matchups, the Badgers and Buckeyes have put together a number of thrilling battles. With top-ranked Ohio State coming to town to battle No. 18 Wisconsin in front of a national television audience, BadgerBlitz.com takes a minute to revisit some recent tilts in the rivalry.
No. 3 Ohio State at No. 23 Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 11, 2003
Final Score: 17-10 Wisconsin
-Lee Evans – One reception, 79 yards, one touchdown
-Matt Schabert – 105 yards passing, one touchdown, 467.87 rating
-Craig Krenzel – 202 yards passing, one touchdown, one interception
The defending national champion Buckeyes came into Camp Randall Stadium looking to extend their winning streak to 20 games before a raucous crowd of 79,793 on a chilly, rainy October night.
Backup quarterback Matt Schabert and Lee Evans made sure that wouldn’t happen.
After Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble had shut down Evans, the Big Ten’s leading receiver, throughout the first 55 minutes of the game. With 5:20 remaining in the game, Schabert and Evans struck for a 79-yard touchdown down the Buckeyes’ sideline for the game-winner.
Schabert had just two previous touchdown passes in his career, but the junior was forced into action when Jim Sorgi was injured at the bottom of a pile in the third quarter.
After Robert Reynolds had shoved his fingers into Sorgi’s throat, it made it difficult for the UW signal caller to swallow and impossible to call out plays. Schabert made the most of his opportunity, completing two of three passes, including the 79-yard strike to Evans.
Wisconsin’s defense effectively limited the Buckeyes offense all night, holding them to just 271 total yards, including only 69 yards rushing.
No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 18 Ohio State
Date: Oct. 9, 2004
Final Score: 24-13 Wisconsin
-Anthony Davis – 168 rushing yards, 39 carries, one touchdown
-Ted Ginn Jr. – 72 all-purpose yards, 65-yard punt return touchdown
-John Stocco – 160 yards passing, two touchdowns
One year after snapping the Buckeyes’ 19-game winning streak, the Badgers ended Ohio State’s streak of 18 consecutive home wins. With the 24-13 victory, Wisconsin also extended its winning streak to three straight at Ohio Stadium.
Trailing 10-0 early, the Badgers kicked their offense into gear, outscoring the Buckeyes 24-3 the rest of the way, due in large part to the impressive performance of the UW defense.
Defensively, the Badgers sacked OSU quarterback Justin Zwick five times, while forcing and recovering a pair of fumbles. Defensive end Erasmus James led the way with six tackles, two for loss, and a sack.
Brett Bell and Jim Leonhard also added six tackles apiece, while Leonhard added one pass breakup and Bell forced a fumble.
While the stingy Wisconsin defense shut down Ohio State, it was running back Anthony Davis that stole the show. Davis rushed for 168 yards, including a 31-yard scamper in the second quarter that put UW on the board and turned the game in Bucky’s favor.
Wisconsin at No. 1 Ohio State
Date: Nov. 3, 2007
Final Score: 38-17 Ohio State
-Beanie Wells – 169 rushing yards, 21 carries, three touchdowns
-Travis Beckum – nine receptions, 140 receiving yards, one touchdown
-James Laurinaitis – 19 tackles, two for loss, fumble recovery, one sack
Three years removed from their last trip to Columbus, the Badgers entered Ohio Stadium riding a three-game winning streak there. Top-ranked Ohio State had won 19 straight Big Ten contests.
Thanks to a second-half offensive explosion, the Buckeyes extended that streak to a Big Ten record 20 consecutive conference victories.
With just over 21 minutes to play and the Badgers leading 17-10, the Buckeyes finally played like the nation’s No. 1 team, reeling off 28 unanswered points to put the game away. After Beanie Wells and the OSU offense had been effectively limited for nearly three quarters, Wells scored three touchdowns and quarterback Brian Robiskie added one of his own.
Until that point, Wisconsin put together an impressive showing, especially considering the absence of No. 1 running back P.J. Hill. Trailing 10-3 at the half, quarterback Tyler Donovan led the Badgers to quick scores on each of their first two possessions of the third quarter with touchdown passes to Travis Beckum and Chris Pressley.
That turned out to be all the Badgers had in them, however, and the top-ranked Buckeyes cruised to victory the rest of the way.
No. 14 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 4, 2008
Final Score: 20-17 Ohio State
-Terrelle Pryor – 144 passing yards, 20 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown
-Beanie Wells – 168 rushing yards, 22 carries, one touchdown
-Jay Valai – seven tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles
Another night game at Camp Randall, another Ohio State-Wisconsin classic. Unfortunately for the home fans, the 2008 version went in the Buckeyes’ favor, thanks to Terrelle Pryor.
In a fitting payback for OSU, the Badgers’ 16-game home winning streak was snapped as the 19-year-old Pryor led Ohio State on two fourth-quarter scoring drives. After an early fourth-quarter field goal gave OSU a 13-10 lead, Wisconsin answered with a P.J. Hill touchdown, putting the Badgers up 17-13 with six minutes remaining.
That was more than enough for Pryor.
Utilizing his skills as both a passer and runner, Pryor hit Brian Hartline twice for big gains, but kept the ball for himself when the time came for the game-winning play. Running an option with Wells out wide, Pryor took it into the end zone with just over a minute left, giving the Buckeyes the 20-17 victory.
As the Badgers looked to get within field goal range and send the game to overtime, OSU cornerback Malcolm Jenkins sealed it, intercepting Allan Evridge on the first play of the drive.
Wisconsin at No. 9 Ohio State
Date: Oct. 10, 2009
Final Score: 31-13 Ohio State
-Kurt Coleman – 14 tackles, 89-yard interception return touchdown
-Jermale Hines – 11 tackles, 32-yard interception return touchdown
-Ray Small – 119 all-purpose yards, 96-yard kickoff return touchdown
The numbers didn’t add up. Wisconsin outplayed Ohio State in all facets of the game at Ohio Stadium a year ago, but thanks to two defensive touchdowns and a special teams score, the Buckeyes left with a big win.
Take those three mistakes away and a 31-13 loss turns into a 13-10 victory for the Badgers.
Ohio State scored first, turning what looked to be a Badgers scoring drive into an 89-yard touchdown the other way as he picked off an errant throw by a heavily-pressured Scott Tolzien. Early in the second quarter though, the Badgers answered in a big way.
As kicker Philip Welch lined up for a 26-yard attempt, the Badgers got the look they had hoped for, and senior captain Chris Maragos took the snap as holder and sprinted for the goal line. Stretching the ball out as he dove out of bounds, Maragos broke the plane, tying the game at seven apiece and electrifying the visitors sideline.
Over the final 40 minutes of the game, however, the Badgers would add just a pair of Welch field goals. The Buckeyes took a 14-10 lead into the half thanks to a Terrelle Pryor touchdown pass and extended that lead with another interception return for a touchdown, a kickoff return touchdown and a field goal.