Found October 30, 2011 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Three weeks ago, Wisconsin seemed to be cruising toward a season to remember, unbeaten and in the running for a shot at a national championship. Meanwhile, Ohio State was 0-2 in conference play and seemingly playing out the string in a season beset with NCAA problems, suspensions and bad breaks. How quickly things have changed. The Badgers, once No. 4 and considered an elite team, have been deflated by two soul-crushing defeats on successive Saturday nights on the road. The Buckeyes, their season all but written off, now find themselves a strong contender to play in the first Big Ten championship game -- if they get a little help. Two teams, different outcomes, different perspectives. One is down, the other feels it has turned the corner. "We always believe everything happens for a reason," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said after his team's latest hard-luck loss. It's difficult to imagine what the reasons would be behind two weeks of heartache. In one of the most replayed videos of this or any college season, the Badgers famously lost at Michigan State on Oct. 22 when Kirk Cousins flipped a prayer of a pass toward the end zone, the ball ricocheting off another player and ending up in the arms of converted wide receiver Keith Nichol at the goal line. A video review confirmed that he had scored the winning touchdown. Then, seven days almost to the minute, Wisconsin was struck again by late, long TD pass. On Saturday night at Ohio Stadium, the Buckeyes' Braxton Miller looped a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide-open Devin Smith with 20 seconds remaining. The Badgers ran off four more plays but could not pull off some magic of their own in a 33-29 setback. "It's pretty tough, especially two in a row," Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson said glumly. "The Hail Mary from the week before. Then just throwing it up and finding a guy. That's kind of tough." Once the front-runner, now the Badgers (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) need loads of help to even get to the Big Ten title game. In the Leaders Division, Penn State (5-0) is alone in first. Wisconsin, Purdue and Ohio State are all 2-2. So the Badgers, who have plummeted to No. 19 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, need to win against Purdue at home on Saturday, at Minnesota and at Illinois the next two weeks and at home against Penn State on Nov. 26. They also need someone else to beat Penn State, in addition to Ohio State (which would win a tiebreaker) losing at least once more. The trauma of the double whammy they've taken the past two weeks will be hard to overcome. "We've handed them the game two weeks in a row at the end," Wisconsin wide receiver Nick Toon said, referring to "them" as if there were a conspiracy against the Badgers. "You can't do that." Ohio State has struggled all season since losing Terrelle Pryor, who was caught up in the NCAA violations dealing with improper benefits including cash and free tattoos from a local tattoo-parlor owner. Pryor, a three-year starter at quarterback, left a gaping void when he announced in June -- with the NCAA already suspending him for five games and looking into other alleged misdeeds -- that he would give up his senior year to jump to the NFL. The Buckeyes tried Joe Bauserman as Pryor's replacement; that experiment was deemed a failure after three games. So the job was handed to Miller, a freshman who admitted in August that he was just hoping to learn four plays a day so he could figure out what was going on with the offense. He showed some signs of maturity even though he completed just 1 of 4 passes in Ohio State's 17-7 win over No. 15 Illinois on Oct. 15. That victory was also the first sign that perhaps the Buckeyes were coming out of their yearlong funk. Now it appears Ohio State has its quarterback, for now and the future. Before he went out on the field for the Buckeyes' last offensive thrust, with Ohio State trailing 29-26, Miller showed he was in charge. "As he walked out there for the last 1:10, he looked at me and winked," Buckeyes interim coach Luke Fickell said. "And he said, 'We're all right.'" Then he led a 52-yard drive that took just 50 seconds and rejuvenated Ohio State's hopes. Asked what he had said to Fickell, Miller smiled and said, "We got it. Don't worry about it." He added, "It was confidence. You've got go out there and have confidence and things will work out." Things have been working out -- but for only one of the teams who left the field near the witching hour on Saturday night.

Braxton Miller: The Night A Star Was Born

With 59 minutes and 40 seconds of last night’s Ohio State – Wisconsin game in the books, Braxton Miller had connected on 6 of 12 passes for 49 yards through the air.  Then with twenty seconds to go he did this: He went legend forever, if only for a night. Just one week ago these 11th ranked Wisconsin Badgers were not only favorites to win the Big Ten, they were also legitimate...

Miller’s bomb bails out Fickell, defense in win over Wisky

Three weeks ago, Ohio State led 27-13 midway through the third quarter against Nebraska before freshman quarterback Braxton Miller left the game with an ankle injury. The Buckeyes ended up losing 34-27 Last night, Ohio State led 26-14 with 4:39 remaining in the fourth quarter against No. 12 Wisconsin....

Braxton Miller comes of age against Wisconsin

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (R) celebrates with Devin Smith after a touchdown run against Wisconsin during the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio October 29, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL) We’ve seen flashes of Braxton Miller’s talent, but last night we saw the freshman quarterback win a game with...

Another week, another unlikely bomb blows up on Wisconsin’s dream season

Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29. Two weeks ago, Ohio State could barely complete a pass, any pass. One bye week later, freshman Braxton Miller broke Wisconsin's heart for the second week in a row on one of the throws of the year, and simultaneously kept the Buckeyes' long-shot pursuit of a seventh consecutive Big Ten title alive. Miller's 40-yard bomb to fellow freshman...

They Did It!

Mark the day folks–October 29, 2011. The day Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and the rest of this young Buckeye team came of age. In what will be remembered as four of the most exciting minutes in Ohio State football history, not only did we see Miller make an amazing 44 yard run into the end zone but on a broken, rolling out play, the young Miller not only...

Hoping to Answer the Question

There's no secret to what No.12 Wisconsin has under center for its primetime match-up against Ohio State, as senior Russell Wilson is a Heisman candidate because of his gaudy passing numbers. The Buckeyes, however, are more of a mystery, and they hope freshman Braxton Miller will provide some positive answers.

Andrew Sweat, Ryan Shazier, Braxton Miller and 10 thoughts on Ohio State's win over Wisconsin

The Ohio State linebackers learned by watching film of last year's Wisconsin loss and they'd been working since August on filling gaps and building a wall against the run game.

Big Ten roundup: Ohio State upsets No. 12 Badgers, 33-29

Wisconsin had its heart broken again. Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State a 33-29 victory over the No. 12 Badgers on Saturday night.

Badgers must regroup to salvage season

Another week of Big Ten football for Wisconsin resulted in another minor miracle in the last minute. For the second straight game, the Badgers were on the wrong end of that virtually miraculous play. Wisconsin lost, 33-29, against Ohio State on Saturday night, when Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller connected with Devin Smith on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining...

While We’re Waiting… More on Braxton, Irving Opens Up and Tribe Hot Stove

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at Plenty on the Browns coming today, for now sample some of these stories… - Praise for Braxton Miller- “What an unflappable performance by Braxton Miller. In a must win...
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.