OSU's Greatest Football Wins: Wisconsin

Braxton Miller

BuckeyeSports.com counts down the days to the Big Ten football media days by recounting Ohio State's greatest wins against their Big Ten foes. Today we look at the Wisconsin series, one that has been more competitive in the past three decades than the first seven.

Ohio State and Wisconsin have had some contentious moments in the past two decades, but historically the Buckeyes have dominated the series.

That much is evident by Ohio State's 55-18-5 all-time record against Wisconsin.

There are surprisingly few Ohio State records from the Ohio State-Wisconsin series considering how the Buckeyes dominated the Badgers for nearly all of the Woody Hayes era (25-1-2). Mike Nugent tied an Ohio State Ohio Stadium record he previously shared with Dan Stultz by booting a 55-yard field goal against the Badgers in 2004.

Ohio State 23
No. 1 Wisconsin 14

Playing in Madison, the Buckeyes stunned the Badgers, who were ranked No. 1 for the first and only time in school history. Howard "Hopalong" Cassady caught a 45-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Buckeyes a 13-7 advantage on their way to a 23-14 upset.

The Buckeye defense did its part, repeatedly turning away the Badgers on trips inside the Buckeye 20-yard line and allowing Cassady to best Wisconsin All-America fullback Alan Ameche. The Buckeyes were content to allow Ameche pound away in small bites while Cassady piled up his yards in bunches. Ameche needed 25 carries to gain 105 yards, while Cassady, in addition to his 45-yard reception, had runs of 45 and 46 yards on his way to amassing 113 yards rushing on just nine carries. He added 51 yards receiving on a pair of catches.

No. 4 Ohio State 31
No. 2 Wisconsin 14

In a matchup of unbeatens at Ohio Stadium, the No. 2-ranked Badgers led 7-3 and were looking for more late in the third quarter when Howard "Hopalong" Cassady stepped in with a season-defining play.

Cassady intercepted a pass at his own 12-yard line and raced 88 yards the other way for a touchdown, scoring the first six of what would be 28 straight Buckeye points in a nine-minute span. The 31-14 win elevated Ohio State to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, a position they would not relinquish as they went on to win Woody Hayes' first national championship.

Cassady, playing with a cut on his nose and four stitches in his right hand, also ran for 59 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 23 yards. Hayes called the play, which was the longest by a Buckeye in Ohio Stadium until Will Allen's 100-yard interception return in 2003, the most spectacular in the stadium's history.

Ohio State 13
No. 2 Wisconsin 10

The Buckeyes led the No. 2-ranked Badgers, 6-3, at the half, but found themselves down 10-6 after a Wisconsin touchdown with 4:22 left in the third quarter.

After Wisconsin missed a 44-yard field goal, Ohio State took possession on its 20-yard line and drove 80 yards on the strength of Matt Snell's running and Don Unverferth's passing. Snell, a senior running back, grounded out 16 yards on six carries and Unverferth, a sophomore quarterback, completed four passes for 59 yards, including a 31-yard strike to Thomas Keihfuss that moved the ball to the Wisconsin 8. Two plays later, Snell barreled in from the 2 to give the Buckeyes the lead with 2:13 remaining. On the ensuing drive, the Badgers moved the ball to their own 45-yard line where Ohio State's Paul Warfield's interception clinched the second consecutive Buckeye victory over a Wisconsin team ranked in the Top 5. In 1962, the Buckeyes knocked off the No. 5 Badgers, 14-7, in Columbus.

No. 2 Ohio State 17
Wisconsin 14

Stanley Jackson started at quarterback and threw for 265 yards, but Joe Germaine struck the biggest blow of the day for the Buckeyes.

After the Badgers took the lead on a defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter, Germaine connected with Stanley for an 8-yard hitch that he turned into a 48-yard game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. Tight end D.J. Jones' devastating crack-back block sprung Stanley loose on the Ohio Stadium grass. The receiver finished with a career-high 199 receiving yards, fifth-most in a single game in school history, on 10 catches.

Following Stanley's heroics, Antoine Winfield and Damon Moore each had interceptions to short-circuit Badger drives. Moore was credited with 19 tackles, a school-record for a defensive back.

No. 4 Ohio State 19
Wisconsin 14

Ohio State had to survive a trip to Madison to stay on track for its seventh national championship.

Craig Krenzel led the No. 4-ranked Buckeyes on an 88-yard drive in the fourth quarter, hitting Ben Hartsock with a pass from three yards out to give the Buckeyes a 19-14 lead with 9:59 to play. The key play on the drive was a 45-yard Krenzel pass that Michael Jenkins went airborne to grab away from two Badger defenders, converting a third-and-6 from the Buckeye 16. Chris Gamble earned his second game-saving interception of the season on the ensuing Wisconsin drive, leaping in front of Wisconsin's Jonathen Orr at the goal line to intercept Jim Sorgi.

For the game Jenkins gained 114 yards and a touchdown on five catches while Krenzel completed 12 of 19 passes for 204 yards. In addition to his interception, Gamble caught three passes for 65 yards from his flanker position.

Looking for an unsung hero for the Scarlet and Gray? Andy Groom averaged 50.2 yards on six punts for the Buckeyes, the third-best average for a game in Ohio State history to that point.

No. 14 Ohio State 20
No. 18 Wisconsin 17

The Buckeyes came out of the gate hot, tearing through the Badger defense with a six-play, 71-yard drive that looked easy and was capped by Chris "Beanie" Wells' 33-yard touchdown run. Then Wisconsin took over slowly and methodically, using its big, powerful offensive line and bruising tailbacks P.J. Hill and John Clay to grind away and eventually go in front 17-13 on a Hill touchdown run with 6:31 left to play.

That set up the first signature moment of Terrelle Pryor's career as the freshman quarterback responded by leading a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took more than five minutes off the clock and put the Buckeyes on top for good. Pryor capped it with an 11-yard touchdown run on an option keeper that appeared to have the Badgers confused.

Sixty-eight seconds remained when Pryor scored, but the Ohio State defense slammed the door as Malcolm Jenkins intercepted an Allan Everidge pass on first down.

Pryor improved to 3-0 as a starting quarterback and threw for 144 yards while adding 20 on the ground. Wells ran for 168 yards to keep pace with the duo of Hill and Clay, who respectively picked up 63 and 69 yards rushing.

James Laurinaitis and Ross Homan had 10 tackles apiece for the Ohio State defense as the Buckeyes snapped Wisconsin's 16-game home win streak.

Ohio State 33
No. 15 Wisconsin 29

A crowd of 105,511 showed up at Ohio Stadium on a clear October night looking for revenge as a result of the Badgers' upset win in Madison over the top-ranked Buckeyes a year earlier, and that is what they got despite the best efforts of Russell Wilson.

The Horseshoe was rocking most of the night as Ohio State controlled most of the first three quarters, holding the Badgers' high-powered offense in check and building a 12-point lead with just over four minutes to go. That's when Wilson responded with a pair of four-play touchdown drives in the span of only 2:30, the second culminating with a 49-yarder to Jared Abbrederis that stunned the Buckeye faithful and put Wisconsin on top 29-26 with only 1:18 left after a two-point conversion pass from Wilson to Montee Ball.

Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, perhaps to young to know any better at that point, was unfazed, though. He winked at head coach Luke Fickell before heading back on the field to lead a four-play, 52-yard drive that culminated with a stunning 40-yard touchdown toss to classmate Devin Smith, who had wandered free in the middle of the field as Miller scrambled in the pocket. One could argue Miller had to win this game twice as he gave the Buckeyes a 26-14 lead with a 44-yard touchdown run at the 4:39 mark. That appeared to wrap up the game prior to Wilson's exploits.

Miller ran for 99 yards and threw for 89 while Dan Herron added 160 yards rushing for the Buckeyes. John Simon led the OSU defense with a pair of sacks.

Previous Polls
Penn State
Michigan State

BuckeyeSports.com Recommended Stories

Up Next


ShareThis Copy and Paste