Posted November 18, 2012 on AP on Fox
Wisconsin isn't about to apologize. Yes, the Badgers (7-4, 4-3) are stumbling into the Big Ten title game after a 21-14 overtime loss to No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday. Currently third in the Leaders Division, they've basically been gifted a shot at playing for the Rose Bowl because the Buckeyes and Penn State, the two teams ahead of them, are ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA violations. But it's not as if that's their doing. ''We don't control that,'' quarterback Curt Phillips said. ''We just have to make the most of this opportunity.'' Make no mistake, the Badgers badly wanted to beat Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) to prove they're worthy of being in the Big Ten title game. Get a little payback from last year, too, when a struggling Buckeyes squad stunned the Badgers on a desperation heave in the closing seconds. They came close, forcing overtime when Phillips found Jacob Pederson for a 5-yard score with eight seconds left in regulation. But Carlos Hyde gave the Buckeyes a quick lead, and Wisconsin could find nothing on offense in the extra period. It was their second straight loss in overtime at Camp Randall, following a 16-13 loss to Michigan State last month. The Badgers' four losses this season have been by a total of 16 points. ''It hurts to do everything you can in your power and still fall short,'' Montee Ball said. ''And it's happened twice to us, back to back at home. It's not a good feeling.'' The lone bright spot for the Badgers was that Ball scored his 78th touchdown in the second quarter, tying the major college career record set by Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) in 1999. Ball had a chance to claim the record for himself, but he fumbled at the goal line with less than three minutes left in regulation. Ball leaped over a scrum with the ball held in front of him, and Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier punched it loose. ''It's a teaching moment for everybody, players and coaches,'' coach Bret Bielema said. ''I had this flash in my mind when we were running up to the line for that play, `Don't jump. Don't jump.' Because I knew (Ball) was doing anything he could to get in the end zone. And I can't discredit him for the effort.'' This whole season has been a series of teaching moments for the Badgers. The year began with Ball being attacked just before training camp opened, leaving him with a concussion that kept him out of practice and slowed him at the start of the season. Starting quarterback Danny O'Brien was benched after three games and replaced by Joel Stave, only to have him break his collarbone against Michigan State. Phillips now is getting the first starts of his career after being sidelined by three ACL surgeries. Oh, star linebacker Chris Borland missed Saturday's game against the Buckeyes, too. Every week seems to bring a new challenge, and just withstanding them ought to count for something. On Saturday, Wisconsin outplayed the Buckeyes for most of the second half after falling behind 14-0. Wisconsin held the Buckeyes to 236 yards of offense, more than 200 yards below their average, and only allowed them to cross midfield once after halftime. But the Badgers also got the ball at their own 35 or better four times, and only came away with one touchdown. ''It's times like these when you really, really find out what kind of people you have,'' Bielema said. ''This is when things would fall apart. ... The guys keep buckling up and playing, and it really shows the true character of who you are. I'm very, very proud of them. But being proud of them won't get them a win.'' The Badgers will keep trying, however. They have another chance to show they're worthy of that Big Ten title game next week, when they travel to Penn State. ''We're just going to make sure we correct our mistakes going to Penn State, and to play hard and finish off the regular season right,'' Ball said. ''I'm sure winning in Indy and going to the Rose Bowl and winning there would erase all the losses we've had. Because that's our goal.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Ball ties career TD record against Buckeyes

MADISON, Wis. Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball has made history, tying the all-time NCAA FBS career touchdown record. Ball scored his 78th career touchdown Saturday on a 7-yard run up the middle with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter against Ohio State at Camp Randall Stadium to trim Wisconsin's deficit to 14-7. He joins Travis Prentice from Miami (Ohio) atop the...

Ball ties major-college TD record with 78th score

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has tied the major college career touchdown record, scoring on a 7-yard run against No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday. It was the 78th touchdown of Ball's career, matching the mark set by Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) in 1999. Ball already has a share of the FBS single-season touchdown record, matching Barry Sanders' long-standing mark of...

Badgers' Ball recognized for Walker Award

MADISON, Wis. For the second straight year, Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball has been named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in college football. Ball joins Oregon's Kenjon Barner and UCLA's Jonathan Franklin as finalists this year. He is the third Wisconsin player to be named a Doak Walker Award finalist, along with...

NLD Football Podcast - The Wisconsin preview and Big Ten expansion reaction

Maybe Danny O'Brien was on to something. Not even a full year after the quarterback decided to transfer from Maryland to Wisconsin, the Terrapins have announced they will leave the ACC for the big paydays to come in the Big Ten. On Monday the school was officially introduced by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany as the conference's 13th member, and a day later Rutgers became...

Badgers played good game and still fell short

MADISON, Wis. Well, at least Wisconsin's football team knows how to make things interesting in defeat. Ohio State edged Wisconsin, 21-14, in overtime Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium, marking the Badgers' second straight overtime loss at home this season. The margin actually represents Wisconsin's most lopsided loss of the year because the Badgers had lost...

College football week 12: Tailgater picks of the week

Stanford hosted Oregon State last week, and the game resulted in the crew’s second push of the year.  I added a third push when Virginia benefited from one of the worst phantom pass interference calls in recent memory against Miami.  Ties are no fun, and with a push, no one wins.  So here’s hoping that week 12 will be a bit more definitive.  I’ve often wondered why all...

College Fantasy Football: Champs and Chumps, Week 12

Champs of the Week:1. Montel Harris, RB, Temple- 351 rushing yards, 7 TD’sAfter last week’s injury, it looked like a very good possibility that Harris wouldn’t even play in the game against Army. Hope that didn’t deter anyone from playing him this week! Harris finished the game with 351 yards rushing and seven (yes, seven!) touchdowns in the win over Army. Both numbers were...

Buckeyes Survive Resilient Badgers in 21-14 OT Thriller

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...

Sunday Morning Hangover: Badgers Coming Close Just Isn't Good Enough Anymore

(photo courtesy M.P. King - Wisconsin State Journal) As painful as it was to sit back and watch Wisconsin lose 21-14 in overtime to hated rivals Ohio State yesterday, it was even more painful to put myself through watching it a 2nd time on the good ole DVR. After watching things over once again there's only one conclusion that you can come to: Coming so close, yet losing...

Big Ten expansion good for recruiting

MADISON, Wis. Wisconsin's football program traditionally has spent far more time recruiting players east of the state than to the west. For that reason alone, Badgers coach Bret Bielema greeted news of the Big Ten's expansion to the East Coast with open arms on Monday. Maryland was officially announced as the 13th program to join the Big Ten, and Rutgers is expected to follow...

Wisconsin plays beautiful defense and still falls short to Ohio State

The Wisconsin Badgers held Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to his worst game of the season, but it wasn’t quite enough with the Buckeyes prevailing 21-14 in overtime at Camp Randall. It was the first time the Badgers (7-4, 4-3) have played in multiple overtime games since the 2000 season and their second straight loss at home. What It Means: Defensively the Badgers were...
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
Help
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.