Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 10/30/11
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Bret Bielema, you have your work cut out for you. In six years as Wisconsins coach, Bielema has had few brushes with adversity. The biggest dose came in 2008 when the Badgers started the Big Ten season 0-4, but losing two straight games the way the Wisconsin has will test Bielemas coaching ability in a unique way. Sitting sixth in the BCS standings just eight days ago, Wisconsin has lost back-to-back primetime road games on last-minute long-distance passes the most recent gut-wrencher coming Saturday night on a 40-yard fling with 20 seconds left that gave unranked Ohio State a 33-29 win. For the second straight week, Wisconsin staged a fierce fourth-quarter rally only to lose on an improbable make that seemingly impossible -- play.These things are just so overwhelmingly negative, said Bielema, whose team surrendered only 49 passing yards before Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller found Devin Smith open for the game-winning score. Unfortunately, this is a learning experience, and the only way you get it is by going through it. Its going to be disappointing for our players, our coaches, our families, our fans, all the Wisconsin people from coast to coast that had such high expectations and aspirations.Bielema hurt the worst for his players.They are going to be tested in the most unbelievable fashion after these last two weeks, the coach said. It wasnt a 44-yard Hail Mary this time that dealt Wisconsins Rose Bowl chances a serious blow, but it sure was close. Miller scrambled out of the pocket and drew the eyes of cornerback Marcus Cromartie and safety Aaron Henry, which allowed Smith to slip behind the coverage for a wide-open touchdown. The Badgers, who entered the game 15th in the BCS standings after last weeks loss to Michigan State, had spent all week convincing themselves that a Rose Bowl bid would be an acceptable substitute for the national title hopes that slipped away in East Lansing. Now even a trip to Pasadena is all but a lost possibility.You learn a lesson, whatever it is, watch the film and figure out what lessons can be learned as football players and individuals, said Badgers quarterbackRussell Wilson, who finished 20 of 32 for 253 yards and three touchdowns and for the second straight week could only watch as the defense surrendered a last-minute score. We have to stick together. We have the right guys and right coaches, we just came up short against two great teams.As good as Wilson and the offense looked in coming back, Wisconsin put itself in a dire spot earlier in the game just as it did against Michigan State.--The Badgers were outscored, 23-7, in the first 26-plus minutes of the second half, a half that included a game-changing blocked punt for the second straight week.--The Buckeyes converted 11 of 20 third downs, including a third-and-1 with 43 seconds left when Dan Herron, who had 160 rushing yards on 33 carries, bulled through the line and into Wisconsins linebackers. --A 69-yard touchdown drive on the Badgers second possession wasfollowed bynext to nothing until Wisconsin broke out the two-minute offense in the final four minutes of the game. Take away Wisconsins four touchdown drives that averaged 57.5 yard and the Badgers other 10 drives averaged just 11.2 yards. We just lacked urgency in the beginning of the game, said junior running back Montee Ball, who was held to 85 yards, his lowest output since Week 1. Every play matters. There are a couple plays we just failed to capitalize on.So how do you keep picking yourself up after getting punched in the gut? Is it even possible?Its got to be, tight end Jacob Pedersen said. Weve got four games. Anything can happen.For Wisconsin, the last two weeks have certainly proven that.For more coverage of the Badger's visit Badgernation.com
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