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Wisconsin loses again on late touchdown

Oct 30, 2011 - 5:36 AM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Wisconsin has a case of deja vu.

A week after a disheartening loss to Michigan State on an improbable Hail Mary pass, the Badgers fell victim to another last-second touchdown.

Devin Smith caught a 40-yard pass for the decisive score with 20 seconds remaining and the Ohio State Buckeyes stunned the 12th-ranked Badgers, 33-29.

The pace of the contest was frenetic over the final five minutes, as the Badgers erased a 12-point deficit. Russell Wilson threw touchdown passes to Jared Abbrederis on consecutive drives, the latter a 49-yard connection. Montee Ball caught a shovel pass for a two-point conversion, giving Wisconsin (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) a 29-26 lead with 1:18 left.

Once again, however, a late pass thwarted the Badgers' rally.

A 42-yard return by Jordan Hall on the ensuing kickoff put Ohio State in excellent position for a potential tying field goal. The Buckeyes, though, moved ahead when Braxton Miller rolled to his right -- coming oh-so-close to passing the line of scrimmage -- and found Smith.

"(Miller) had confidence. It was amazing to see that from a young guy like that as he walked out there in the last minute and ten seconds and he looked at me and winked," said Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell.

Ohio State booted the kickoff out of bounds, but Wisconsin never got the chance to throw the ball to the end zone because of the Buckeye defense.

Miller completed 7-of-12 passes for 89 yards and added 99 yards on the ground with two scores.

Dan Herron gained 160 yards on 33 carries for Ohio State (5-3, 2-2), which mustered only a 39-yard Drew Basil field goal in the opening half.

Wilson also threw a touchdown pass to Ball in the first quarter, finishing with 253 yards on 20-of-32 efficiency.

"It was another heartbreaking loss for us," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "There are so many positives we can take away. To beat a quality opponent on the road and at night means you have to play well. We let the receiver get behind us and had a communication breakdown. Our kids never quit; they're going to be tested in an unbelievable fashion after the last two weeks. I can't describe the feeling of having to face those guys after all they've put in."

Down 7-3, Miller capped the opening drive of the second half with a one-yard TD run on fourth down. After Wisconsin failed to get a first down, Ohio State blocked a punt, which led to Hall's two-yard TD run.

The Badgers were forced to punt again, but Hall fumbled and Ball converted the turnover into a short TD run.

Basil hit from 22 yards out to make it 20-14 early in the fourth quarter. Ohio State extended its lead on Miller's 44-yard dash, but a failed two-point conversion kept the score 26-14 with 4:39 to play.

Game Notes

Ball totaled 85 yards on 17 carries. He has scored at least one TD in each of his last 14 games...Wilson has thrown at least one TD pass in 32 straight games, the longest active streak in the country. He has 19 TD passes this season, two shy of the school record (John Stocco, 2005)...Wisconsin has lost its last three trips to Ohio State.