Ohio State rallied from 14 points down to beat Wisconsin 34-21 in the Big Ten Championship game.
The Badgers dominated the first half before giving way in the second to the Buckeyes, who won their third straight conference title and 39th overall.
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Ohio State took the opening kickoff of the second half and was in the end zone in five plays.
Jeremy Ruckert made a highlight-reel one-handed catch for a 16-yard touchdown from Justin Fields to cap a drive that also included a 50-yard passing connection between Fields and Chris Olave.
The Buckeyes got the ball back in prime position to tie the game after Wisconsin punter Anthony Lotti mishandled the long snap and was tackled at his own 20-yard line by Cam Brown.
Ohio State had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Blake Haubeil, though, when Fields missed a wide-open Luke Farrell on third-and-4.
That brought Ohio State to within 21-17 with 10:45 left in the third quarter.
K.J. Hill broke David Boston’s career catches record on a third-down conversion in the third quarter. Four plays later, he caught another pass over the middle and weaved his way through the defense for a 16-yard touchdown that put the Buckeyes on top.
Haubeil’s point-after kick made it 24-21 with 2:23 to go in the third quarter.
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Ohio State extended the lead early in the fourth quarter when Fields scrambled to his left, stopped and found Hill open in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown. Hill got open by shaking loose from a defender in the end zone.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, Ohio State added three more points on a 24-yard field goal by Haubeil. Perhaps more importantly, the Buckeyes took 5:57 off the clock.
Credit: Justin Casterline
Credit: Justin Casterline
FIRST HALF RECAP
Wisconsin dominated the first half to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room at halftime of the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The 10th-ranked Badgers struck first, taking the opening kickoff and driving 83 yards in just five plays.
Jonathan Taylor capped the drive with a 44-yard touchdown run. The Big Ten Running Back of the Year found a lane and stepped through two or three tackle attempts before finding the end zone.
Wisconsin strikes first!@JayT23 breaks free to give @BadgerFootball the 7-0 lead!— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 8, 2019
Sponsored by @exxonmobil pic.twitter.com/ig4lmnAJ2V
The Badgers added seven more early in the second quarter when quarterback Jack Coan kept the ball and sprinted in from 14 yards out. A deft fake opened up a wide gap in the defense and the Wisconsin quarterback exploited it to put Ohio State behind by two scores for the first time all season.
Captain Jack, Touchdown!@BadgerFootball takes the 14-0 lead against Ohio State. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/5iTmjCez5k— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 8, 2019
The Buckeyes responded with their best drive of the game, but it went for naught when Justin Fields fumbled inside the 10-yard line and the Badgers recovered.
That was part of a rough start for Fields, who was frequently under heavy pressure and also guilty of holding the ball too long in the pocket multiple times.
The turnover wasted a fake punt conversion that saw Drue Chrisman find Luke Farrell for 21 yards early in the drive.
🚨 FAKE PUNT 🚨@OhioStateFB converts on 4th and 9 to keep their offense on the field! pic.twitter.com/OwnCvQOUjD— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 8, 2019
The Buckeyes got one more chance late in the second quarter and took advantage, driving 71 yards in 10 plays to get on the board when J.K. Dobbins leapt across the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown with :42 on the clock.
The good feelings from that were short-lived, though, as Wisconsin struck back quickly with a 75-yard drive that started with a 45-yard run by Taylor. Coan finished it with a 1-yard touchdown run to stagger the Buckeyes again with 10 seconds left in the half.
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