While it may not be The Game, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin has turned into quite a rivalry over the past few years. The Buckeyes and the Badgers will square off in Ohio Stadium on Saturday at 8 p.m. E.T. for the 74th matchup between the two schools. OSU holds a commanding series lead at 55-18, but over the years there have certainly been some hard fought victories and heartbreaking losses for both sides.
Here is one take on the top five battles between the two schools.
5) Tie-Oct. 24, 1914, Columbus: Wisconsin 7, Ohio State 6; Oct. 29, 1932, Ohio Stadium: Ohio State 7, Wisconsin 7
Forget about stats, forget about watching a high scoring affair, these two teams have fought some tough defensive battles over the years. In 1914, just the second matchup between the schools, the Badgers got the better of OSU by just one point as both teams stayed in single digits. Again in 1932 both offenses were kept in check, this time finishing in a tie. These two games are great examples of the early stages of what would turn into a tense rivalry nearly a century later.
4) Nov. 8, 1969, Ohio Stadium: Ohio State 62, Wisconsin 7
A 62-7 sleeper may not seem like much, but it marks the highest score either team has posted in the history of the matchup. The Buckeyes, led by Rex Kern at quarterback, trounced Wisconsin in one of many displays of dominance over the years. While some games like the ones from 1914 and 1932 were incredibly close, it is important to remember that the Buckeyes have dominated the series without question. The 1969 OSU squad went 8-0 before falling to Michigan and losing out on a Rose Bowl bid.
3) Oct. 11, 2003, Ohio Stadium: Wisconsin 17, Ohio State 10
Riding a 19-game winning streak, Ohio State was upset by the Badgers in 2003 on a 79-yard touchdown pass with just over five minutes remaining in 2003. The Buckeyes had won the National Championship the year before, and were ranked No. 3 at the time. Wisconsin had upset in their heads from the start as they struck first, a 2-yard touchdown run by Booker Stanley six seconds into the second quarter. The teams traded field goals before a Craig Krenzel pass to Michael Jenkins tied the game at 10. Buckeye hearts were broken as backup Matt Schabert’s pass found Lee Evans to seal the victory.
2) Oct. 19, 2002, Camp Randall: Ohio State 19, Wisconsin 14
In one of the many thrillers of their Championship run OSU got on the board first but found themselves trailing at halftime. After starting quarterback Brooks Bollinger was knocked out of the game, backup Jim Sorgi found Jonathan Orr on a 42 yard strike to give Wisconsin a 14-13 halftime lead. The Buckeyes pounded it out on the ground throughout the day as Maurice Clarett finished with 30 carries for 133 yards, but it was Krenzel who found Ben Hartsock from three yards out for the game winning score with 10 minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes won, preserving their undefeated season which eventually ended with a National Championship victory over Miami (Fla.).
1) Oct. 29, 2011, Ohio Stadium: Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29
Welcome to Columbus, Mr. Miller.
Ohio State was unranked sitting at 4-3. Wisconsin was 6-1 ranked No. 15 in the nation. Even with an electric atmosphere and an 8 p.m. kickoff, it was hard to imagine Ohio State even keeping this one close. Not only did they keep it close, but for much of the game it seemed as though OSU had a chance to run away with it. Wisconsin struck first, and led 7-3 at the half, but the Buckeyes fought back for a 17-7 lead in the third quarter, which eventually became 26-14 in the fourth.
A 12 point lead with 4:39 to play, what could go wrong? For a while it seemed like everything. Russell Wilson found Jared Abbrederis for touchdowns of 17 and 49 yards to give the Badgers an improbable 29-26 lead with barely a minute to play.
The life was sucked out of Ohio Stadium, but the Buckeyes still grasped a slim strand of hope. On first and 10 at the Wisconsin 40 Braxton Miller rolled right and looked like he would run, it seemed like a good idea as OSU would be in range for a game tying field goal, but against all odds Miller suddenly threw the ball. It hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity before falling into the hands of Devin Smith for a touchdown. Ohio State suddenly led 33-29 with just 20 seconds on the clock and a defensive stand sealed the victory.