Justin Fields threw three touchdown passes as No. 1 Ohio State rallied from a 14-point deficit for 27 unanswered points in the second half of a 34-21 victory over No. 8 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (13-0) trailed 21-7 at the half but took off when Fields (19-for-31, 299 yards) threw a touchdown pass of 16 yards to Jeremy Ruckert. After a field goal, he added scoring tosses of 16 yards and 13 yards to K.J. Hill to give Ohio State a 31-21 lead with 12:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Blake Haubeil made it 34-21 with 4:39 left on a 24-yard field goal.
“Wisconsin, give them credit, they played their tails off in this game,” Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said afterward. “But we said at halftime we’re going to find out what this team is made of, we’re going to find out about the character of our team. They were unbelievable. This team is unbelievable.”
Ohio State has won three straight conference titles and will find out Sunday where the College Football Playoff selection committee ranks it for the national semifinals.
“I think we deserve to be No. 1 in the country,” Day said. “I don’t think there is any doubt.”
Wisconsin (10-3) has lost it past four title games, three to Ohio State, since winning three straight from 2010-12.
The game had a similar tone to when these teams met in Columbus on Oct. 26. The Buckeyes led only 10-7 in third quarter, then scored the final 28 points in 38-7 win.
“I appreciate the effort and the preparation, and the way guys put it out there,” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said. “Credit to Ohio State. Heck of a football team. Obviously talented, extremely well coached. They made more plays than we did.”
Jonathan Taylor, who had 52 rushing yards in that game, had 148 yards on 20 carries and a TD in the rematch, although only 13 yards came in the second half. Overall, the Badgers managed just 138 yards after the break, after gaining 294 in the first half.
Badgers quarterback Jack Coan was 17 of 33 for 232 yards and carried eight times for 27 yards and two touchdowns.
J.K. Dobbins rushed for 172 yards for the Buckeyes, and Hill had seven catches for 83 yards.
The Badgers took a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game on Taylor’s 44-yard touchdown.
Coan ran in from the 14 with 9:41 left in the second quarter to make it 14-0.
OSU scored with 42 seconds left before the half on Dobbins’ 2-yard run, but Taylor broke free for 45 yards to set up Coan’s 1-yard touchdown run with 10 seconds left before halftime.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)