The Buckeye Nation is in mourning today. Ohio State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last night, losing to the Wisconsin Badgers 31-18 under the lights in Madison.
The Badgers punched the Buckeyes in the mouth at the outset, running the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, gashing the Ohio State defense with long running plays through huge holes, and sprinting to a 21-0 lead. The Buckeyes fought back but could get no closer than 21-18.
This is one of those losses where what was feared came true. Ohio State’s special teams had another breakdown, putting the Buckeyes in an immediate hole. The Badgers ran the ball down the Buckeyes’ throats until adjustments were made, but by then it was almost too late.
All credit must go to Wisconsin, which played a characteristically tough, gutty game in front of their home fans. At the crunch times — such as after the Buckeyes got an interception in the first half, and after the Buckeyes closed the deficit to 21-18 in the second half — the Badgers made the big plays and Ohio State didn’t. The Buckeyes now must try to regain their focus, bounce back next week against Purdue, and get back in the race for the Big Ten championship.