No. 2 Buckeyes claw past No. 8 Wisconsin in OT thriller
MADISON, Wis. (AP) J.T. Barrett set a school record and led Ohio State to its toughest win of the season.
The do-it-all quarterback threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to leaping receiver Noah Brown in overtime, and the second-ranked Buckeyes finished off No. 8 Wisconsin with a sack on fourth-and-goal from the 4 for a 30-23 win on Saturday night.
Barrett also ran for two touchdowns for the Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) in tense contest between league heavyweights.
''That was a ball game,'' coach Urban Meyer said.
The touchdown throw gave Barrett his 89th career touchdown passing or rushing, breaking the school record previously held by quarterback Braxton Miller.
The Buckeyes rushed the field after defensive end Tyquan Lewis sacked quarterback Alex Hornibrook to end the thriller.
Just in time too, after school officials warned fans that severe weather was rolling through the area right before the final play.
The Buckeyes opened overtime with Barrett's touch pass to Brown in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Barrett finished 17 of 29 for 226 yards with one interception, and ran for 92 yards on 21 carries. Corey Clement ran for 164 yards on 25 carries for Wisconsin (4-2, 1-2).
The Badgers gained chunks of yards in the first half on the Buckeyes' vaunted defense, but often had to settle for field goals. They led 16-6 at halftime.
It took a little while for Ohio State to get its bearings in the second half.
But Barrett, as usual, led the Buckeyes' charge.
''We grew up even more this week,'' Barrett said.
Ohio State: Barrett proved his mettle once again, shaking off an interception in the third quarter. He hit long pinpoint passes, often on the move, into tight coverage. The Buckeyes made it a point to work on the passing game leading into the game after problems last week against Indiana. That work paid off, though it didn't come easy against the Badgers' tough defense.
Wisconsin: Coach Paul Chryst dug deep into the playbook to throw off the Buckeyes in the first half, running receiver Jazz Peavy on jet sweeps and passing out of tight formations. The Badgers had manageable third-down situations, for the most part, for Hornibrook. Wisconsin picked up another first down in the fourth quarter after faking a run before Hornibrook threw a shovel pass to tight end Troy Fumagalli for 4-yard gain. The offensive-minded Chryst showed creativity that should keep Wisconsin's opponents guessing for the rest of the season. ''This one is tough … because we didn't come into this one hoping to keep it close,'' Chryst said. ''This one hurts tonight.''
Ohio State: The Buckeyes play the second of two straight night games at a tough road venue when they visit Penn State on Oct. 22.
Wisconsin: There is no letup in the schedule with a trip to Iowa up next. The tested Badgers are coming off a stretch of having faced three straight top 10 opponents.
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