Film Study: Re-Watching Wisconsin for the Key Plays
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Saturday night’s stunning upset of Wisconsin was as exciting a game as Ohio State has played in a long time.
We decided to take a look back at the film for a breakdown of all the excitement from the Buckeyes’ 33-29 victory at Ohio Stadium.
Badgers’ First Touchdown — Christian Bryant sold out for the interception on 3rd-and-7. If he had gone for the tackle, he might have stopped Montee Ball short of the first down, especially with a big hit.
Russell Wilson only got the pass off because both Adam Bellamy and John Simon were being held. Bellamy got pressure from the left side and he beat the left tackle Ricky Wagner but Wagner grabbed him by the jersey as he went by.
The most disappointing part of the play was how bad Ball made Andrew Sweat look with one move in the open field.
The TV broadcast tried to highlight Ball for helping Josh Oglesby on John Simon, but inadvertently spotlighted Oglesby grabbing a handful of Simon’s jersey after he got by him with the spin move.
Ohio State’s Next Drive — Braxton Miller makes Chris Borland look silly on his 13 yard scramble on 2nd-and-13. Mike Taylor giving the Buckeyes trouble. He was all over the field Saturday. He had 14 tackles and a pick against Nebraska; he had 22 tackles against the Buckeyes.
Pass to Jake Stoneburner on 3rd-and-12 was not as perfect as looked from the press box. It was thrown a little behind Stoneburner, but he has to make that catch. Good play by safety Shelton Johnson to knock the ball loose, but Stoneburner had to know he was going to get hit. Tuck that ball away, get the first down and keep the drive alive.
Buckeyes Get on the Scoreboard — Braxton Miller picks up two third downs with his legs. The second one is a 14-yard run on 3rd-and-10 in Wisconsin territory. The Badgers brought three men on a blitz and dropped both of their defensive ends.
Ohio State’s line picked up the blitz and Jordan Hall got a block on Taylor, who came through freely. Braxton took off up the middle and juked Louis Nzegwu, one of the ends who was supposed to be spying him. Good downfield block by Chris Fields.
Boom Herron doesn’t follow his block on the next play. Tried to go outside when the hole was inside. He did that a few times in this game. Hard to complain about 160 yards, but he could have been over 200 in this game. OSU’s line was that dominant up front.
Drew Basil’s kick dinks off the left upright and through, and then Basil made a nice tackle on the kickoff after Ryan Shazier got a piece of Abbrederis but couldn't bring him down.
Jordan Hall’s First Fumble — John Simon forces a punt with a big sack on third down, and Hall finally signals for a fair catch at the 20 but he lost the ball. Hall actually did a nice job recovering the fumble after Jamie Wood rolled into him while he was trying to block Conor O'Neill.
Boom’s Big Run Leads to OSU’s First TD — Herron's big run to start the second half came out the pistol. Huge blocks from Zach Boren, Michael Brewster, J.B. Shugarts and Jack Mewhort sprung him for 57 yards.
Shugarts probably had the one that really freed him, but Mewhort completely pancaked Patrick Butrym on the play. Fields was close to a holding call at the end of the play that really would have killed the momentum.
Two plays later, Herron goes 18 yards down inside the two. This time out of the offset I-formation. Great blocks by Andrew Norwell and Jake Stoneburner, and Herron showed great vision by bouncing it outside.
Herron almost gets in two plays later after breaking a tackle in the backfield. Ruled down on the six-inch line. Brewster gets beat on the next play, pushed back into Mewhort, who was trying to pull from right to left. Sets up a fourth-and-goal. Fickell doesn’t hesitate to go for it.
Play-action bootleg this time and Stoneburner runs to the back corner. Brendan Kelly has a chance to make the play, but Miller simply side-steps him and walks into the end zone to give OSU a 10-7 lead.
The Blocked Punt — Wisconsin punter Brad Nortman had one blocked last week against Michigan State, which was mentioned on the broadcast about a half-second before Ryan Shazier got his hands on the ball.
Safety Zach Domicone comes right up the middle, but 64 Robert Burge, a junior out of Holmen, Wisc. is the player who makes the critical mistake. It was pointed out that he also made the mistake last week against the Spartans. He goes inside and double-teams Domicone, while Shazier goes right around him on the outside untouched.
The Badgers were using the spread punt formation. Have I mentioned how terrible that formation is? Not sure why anyone in college would use it.
Jordan Hall’s Second Fumble — This one was all on Hall. He just flat out dropped. Attribute some of this to his earlier troubles. That almost had to be in the back of his mind.
The Fourth Down Stop — Wilson scrambles for six yards on 3rd-and-8—mainly because Simon is being held by right guard Kevin Zeitler—which sets up a 4th-and-2 at the OSU 38-yard line. The Badgers come out in a single back formation with a bunch to the left and they pitch it to Ball running left.
Three important things happen here for OSU. Simon strings the play out by holding ground at the line of scrimmage. Sweat does a nice job reading and reacting to the pitch, and Etienne Sabino gets off a block on the edge by fullback Bradie Ewing, who tried to hold him at the end. Sabino and Sweat make the tackle a yard short of the marker for a big turnover on downs.
Braxton’s Big Touchdown Run — Braxton picks up two third downs with his legs on this drive. He has a knack for this. The first was a 5-yard run on 3rd-and-4. The second was the 44-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-2.
The Buckeyes were in the pistol again with double tights and two receivers to the right. Miller runs the speed option to the short side of the field and Mike Adams completely destroys the end who would normally read the play. Andrew Norwell gets to the second level and takes Mike Taylor out of the play.
The corner, Marcus Cromartie, stays on Herron for the pitch. Jake Stoneburner gets the key block on safety Shelton Johnson, nearly knocking him over, and Miller jogs down the sideline for a touchdown.
Wisconsin Starts the Comeback — The big play that got Wisconsin going was the 40-yard draw play to Ball on 3rd-and-1. The Badgers were in the shotgun and they just did a great job of blocking it up.
Center Peter Konz takes nose tackle Garrett Goebel out of the play and the right guard eats Sweat up at the second level. Sabino completely misreads the play to the outside and Toon gets a good downfield block on Christian Bryant.
C.J. Barnett saves a touchdown by catching Ball from behind near the 20-yard line, but the Badgers would score a play later. Abbrederis beat Roby on a post route and there was no safety help over the middle because Jeff Duckworth ran Barnett out of the play.
Badgers Take the Lead — Ben Buchanan gets off a great punt and the Buckeyes cover it well to give Wisconsin the ball at their own 32-yard line with 2:36 to play.
They get out past midfield on a draw play by Ball, which sets up the 49-yard touchdown pass to Abbrederis. Wisconsin comes out in a shotgun with two receivers to the right and one to the left. Ball is in the backfield and H-back offset to the right.
The Buckeyes only rush three as Simon drops back into coverage. Without him, they never got close to Wilson. Ohio State is in a cover-2 look and the Badgers run two deep routes to Bryant’s side of the field.
Travis Howard stays in the flat, and Bryant goes with Duckworth over the middle, leaving Abbrederis wide open down the sideline.
Hall’s Big Return — After the go-ahead score by Wisconsin, Hall fields a low line-drive kick at the six-yard line. The first guy with a shot at him is Conor O’Neill, who slips and falls at the 25-yard line.
Hall gets big blocks from Stoneburner, Tony Jackson and Reid Fragel before breaking a tackle by Adam Hampton at the 38-yard line. Hall sidesteps Nortman and Lukasko near the 40 before being dragged down at the 48-yard line.
Braxton Saves the Day — After Herron picked up a 3rd-and-1 at the 43, the clock was winding down under 35 seconds. Miller takes the snap out of the gun with Devin Smith lined up as the far receiver on the left side.
Chris Fields was in the slot to the left and runs a crossing route over the middle with Smith running a deep post route behind him.
Brendan Kelly spins off a block by J.B. Shugarts and gets pressure to the inside. That causes Miller to roll right, where Patrick Butrym is waiting to make the play. Miller sidesteps Butrym and outruns Kelly to the sideline.
For a moment it looked like Miller might run, but linebackers Kevin Claxton and Chris Borland had the angle. Just before he crossed the line of scrimmage, Miller heaves the ball across his body and off his back foot to a wide open Devin Smith in the end zone.
Smith had gotten behind the backside safety, Shelton Johnson, who was intently watching Miller scramble. Cornerback Marcus Cromartie wasn’t deep enough to make a play on the ball.
The Final Play — Bradley Roby should have ended the game with an interception. The ball hit him right in the stomach but he dropped it. Barnett bailed him out on the next play with a big breakup on a pass to Nick Toon down the middle of the field.
It looked like Toon had the ball and Barnett just knocked it out of his hands at the last second. Biggest play no one is talking about from Saturday. Would have given Wisconsin a first down at the OSU 19-yard line.
Then Christian Bryant is flagged for facemask, which gave Wilson one untimed down to heave the ball into the end zone from the 45-yard line.
Adam Bellamy goes right around Oglesby on the right side and Andrew Sweat comes on a delayed blitz. Wilson steps up to avoid Bellamy and Sweat gets a piece of his arm from behind to end the game.
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