Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24: Seems like old times
Offense clicks as Braxton Miller returns to throw four TD passes
Buckeyes running back Carlos Hyde picks up a chunk of yardage.
Braxton Miller returned to his spot as Ohio State's starting quarterback and completed 17 of 25 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions as the Buckeyes opened their Big Ten season with a 31-24 victory over Wisconsin in Ohio Stadium.
OSU: Spencer 25 pass from B.Miller (Basil kick), 12:18. Drive: Four plays, 55 yards, 1:07. Key plays: Heuerman 9 pass from Miller for first down at Wisconsin 40; Hyde 15 run for first down at the 25; on the next play, Miller rolled left and hit Spencer, who had beaten Shelton. Ohio State 7, Wisconsin 0
WIS: Abbrederis 36 pass from Stave (French kick), 3:52. Drive: Eight plays, 90 yards, 4:54. Key plays: Erickson 14 pass from Stave for first down at Wisconsin 23; Abbrederis 18 pass from Stave for first down at 41; Gordon 11 run for first down at OSU 40; on a third-and-6 play, Stave passed right to Abbrederis, who had beaten Roby. Ohio State 7, Wisconsin 7
OSU: D.Smith 26 pass from B.Miller (Basil kick), 0:44. Drive: Six plays, 73 yards, 3:08. Key plays: Hyde 12 run for first down at OSU 39; Brown 7 pass from Miller on third-and-4 from OSU 46; Wilson 21 pass from Miller for first down at Wisconsin 26; Miller and Smith hooked up on the next play with a fine back-shoulder throw. Ohio State 14, Wisconsin 7
Analysis: Worth the price of admission
So far, so entertaining in Ohio State’s first home night game of the year. Braxton Miller returned to quarterback the Buckeyes after missing most of the past three games and was sharp throwing the ball, completing 6 of 7 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Running the ball? He was a little ginger, but Carlos Hyde picked up the slack with 53 yards of hard rushing. OSU scored on its first possession when Miller rolled left and delivered a well-thrown ball to Evan Spencer, who had maneuvered past Sojourn Shelton and hauled in the pass in the back of the end zone. Wisconsin, stymied to the tune of minus-3 yards on its first seven plays from scrimmage, found its legs and went on an eight-play, 90-yard drive to tie the score on Joel Stave’s 36-yard pass to Jared Abbrederis, who had cleanly beaten Bradley Roby down the right sideline. OSU came right back, however, moving 73 yards in six plays to regain the lead. Miller completed all four of his passes to finish the drive, including a 21-yarder to Dontre Wilson to move the ball to the Badgers’ 26, then a perfectly thrown back-shoulder pass to Devin Smith for the score. Wisconsin, however, drove deep into OSU territory as the quarter ended on a 64-yard pass from Stave to Abbrederis.
OSU: FG Basil 45, 4:33. Drive: Six plays, 20 yards, 2:45. Key plays: Brown 6 punt return to start drive at Wisconsin 47; Miller 7 pass to Brown for first down at Wisconsin 35; the drive stalled when Miller threw incomplete to Brown on third-and-2. Ohio State 17, Wisconsin 7
WIS: Arneson 11 pass from Stave (French kick), 1:30. Drive: Seven plays, 76 yards, 3:03. Key plays: Arneson 20 pass from Stave for first down at Wisconsin 44; Abbrederis 33 pass from Stave for first down at OSU 11; on third-and-10 from there, Stave hit Arneson in the back of the end zone and he held on despite a pop from Bryant. Ohio State 17, Wisconsin 14
OSU: Brown 40 pass from B.Miller (Basil kick), 0:01. Drive: Eight plays, 71 yards, 1:23. Key plays: Miller 10 run on third-and-6 from OSU 47; on fourth-and-7 from the Wisconsin 40, Miller dropped back and watched somehow split the defense for an easy catch. Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 14
Analysis: Wild and woolly
Ohio State took a 10-point lead to halftime, and it shoulda coulda been a lot closer than that. The Badgers had a first down at the OSU 13-yard line when the quarter started but missed out on points when Kyle French pushed a 32-yard field-goal attempt. The Buckeyes survived a muffed punt by Corey “Philly” Brown later in the quarter when the Badgers were called for an illegal formation on a punt and OSU took advantage, driving 20 yards to Drew Basil’s 45-yard field goal to make it 17-7. Wisconsin drove right back to close to 17-14, Stave’s 33-yard pass to Abbrederis the big play on the drive. On third-and-10 from the 11, Stave hit Sam Arneson for the touchdown with 1:30 left in the first half. The Buckeyes should have gone to the locker room with a 17-14 lead, but Shelton dropped a sure interception on a third-down pass from the UW 40. On the next play, Brown streaked down the left side and was somehow uncovered and Miller hit him for a scoring pass with one second remaining until halftime. And the Buckeyes would get the ball to start the third quarter.