Badgers fall to Ohio State in Big 10 championship game - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers fall to Ohio State in Big 10 championship game

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Amy Gill/WKOW Amy Gill/WKOW

INDIANAPOLIS (WKOW) -- In the end, the No. 1 Big 10 offense of the Ohio State Buckeyes was a little bit better than the Badgers' No. 1 defense.

And after Wisconsin's  27-21 loss Saturday in the Big 10 Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Buckeye's jumped back into the national championship conversation and the Badgers were left to look ahead to an end-of-season bowl game.

Ohio State's  speed and athleticism outmatched Wisconsin's power, and a series of big first-half plays by the Buckeyes set the tone.

With  No. 2 Auburn's loss to No. 6 Georgia earlier in the day, the game took on the importance of a national championship quarterfinal game.

The heavyweight matchup lived up to expectations with the outcome in doubt until the very end.

Scoring began with an Alex Hornibrook interception on the Ohio State three-yard line, which led to a quick Buckeye score on an 84 yard JT Barrett touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin.

But on the next series, Andrew Van Ginkel of the Badgers returned the favor by picking off a Barrett pass on the 10 yard line and ran the pick six in for the score. It was Van Ginkel's first interception of the year.

Ohio State responded with a 56-yard score by Parris Campbell off of a Barrett screen pass to put the Buckeyes back on top 14-7 with a minute left in the first quarter.

After a J.K. Dobbins run of 77 yards,  Barrett's one-yard run pushed the score to 21-7.

But then momentum turned to the Badgers when Van Ginkel forced a fumble that led to a Gaglianone field goal to trim Ohio State's lead to 21-10. 

The half ended with a Nick Nelson block of an Ohio State field goal after Ohio State had amassed 309 yards in the half.

While the first half was dominated by Ohio State's big plays, the second half turned in to a classic Big 10 slug fest.

The Badgers forced an Ohio State three-and-out to start the second half, then drove down to set up a Gaglianone field goal to trim the Buckeye lead to 21-13.

Ohio State responded with a field goal of their own to get the lead back to 24-13.

However a Leon Jacobs interception for the Badgers at the end of the third quarter sparked a drive --  aided by a roughing the passer penalty -- that resulted in a one-yard Chris James touchdown run.

But before the Badgers could  attempt a point-after play, the game was halted after the end-zone turf came loose during the touchdown play.

In what certainly will become a meme-worthy moment on social media, turf supervisor Eric Harlow frantically worked to mend the seam in the endzone.

After more than a 10-minute delay, the Badgers went for two and scored on a Hornibrook to Fumagalli connection to trim the Badgers' deficit to 24-21.

The Badger defense stiffened with the swing in momentum and held Ohio State to a field goal to push their lead back to 27-21.

The Badgers and Buckeyes traded punts within the last five minutes of the game, giving the Badgers one last chance to score and put the game away.

However on a fourth and 20 with 1:16 left, Hornibrook's pass down the center of the field overshot Fumagalli and was intercepted by the Buckeyes' Damon Webb.

Ohio State then took a knee to end not only the game, but the Badgers run toward the playoffs.

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