Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/17/12
It's a pretty safe assumption that when you turn on your TV set for Wisconsin vs. Ohio State your about to see something crazy and once again these two delivered as Ohio State remained unbeaten with a 21-14 overtime victory. All this result told us is that Ohio State is good, good enough to outlast the best efforts of their opponents and in the end isn't the W all that matters? However, the other moral of the story is that special teams matters. That's because Ohio State's Corey "Philly" Brown opened up the scoring on a 68 yard punt return to go up 7-0 and with the Badgers down 14-7 kicker Kyle French missed a 40 yard field goal wide left that eventually would've been enough to win the game for Wisconsin in regulation. If your a Badger fan, it's an all too familiar tune - special teams mistakes costing you a football game when everything was right in front of you in the Big Ten. The one silver lining in the loss was Montee Ball's 191 yard performance, along with his 1TD, which tied Travis Prentice's all-time career TD record. The crazy part of the game came in how it even got to overtime to begin with. Down 14-7 with just 1:33 left in the game and no timeouts the Badgers had to drive 41 yards for the score. That meant doing it with a quarterback that hadn't been in this game situation in his career. Wisconsin's Curt Phillips showed why the coaches trusted him, leading them right down the field and eventually firing a bullet to his tight end Jacob Pederson with just :08 left on the clock. With the game tied 14-14 the Buckeyes took a knee on their possession and it was overtime in Madison.   The Badgers won the toss and forced Ohio State on to offense for the 1st series of downs. That turned out to be a mistake as the Buckeyes came out and punched Wisconsin right in the mouth, well more specifically, Carlos Hyde punched Wisconsin in the mouth. He keyed the Buckeyes all the way to the endzone, putting them up 21-14. Ohio State's defense came up big when it mattered in the OT period as they stuffed a Wisconsin rushing attack they had trouble with all game long.  If your a stats hound this game wasn't for you, because the stat sheet tells a story this game didn't actually produce. Wisconsin outgained Ohio State 360-236 on the day. They also managed to outgain the Buckeyes on the ground (206-139) and shockingly through the air as well (154-97). Wisconsin also owned a 15 minute advantage in time of possession. But, then again, if you can't convert all of those numbers into points it doesn't really matter, does it?  In the end this game came down to an Ohio State team that showed up when it absolutely needed to on both sides of the ball. They took Wisconsin's best shot and stood up as the 11-0 Ohio State Buckeyes coming out of Camp Randall.  They'll need to regroup after this one as it's "The Game" next week and for OSU it truly is their season and their chance at perfection as a team on the line one last time in 2012. For more of Andy's musing on college football and college sports in general make sure to follow him on Twitter @andycoppens.
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