INDIANAPOLIS, Sporting Alert — Season performers Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins recovered from respective slow starts to lead No. 1 Ohio State to a comeback 34-21 win over No. 8 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes (13-0), looking completely out of sorts in the first half, had a frustrating opening 30 minutes and trailed 21-7 at the half.
However, arguably the nation’s most complete team kept the Badgers scoreless in the second half, as it rallied from the double-digit deficit by scoring 27 unanswered points in the second half to set up the victory in Indianapolis.
Fields threw three touchdown passes after connecting with K.J. Hill twice from 16 and 13 yards and also found Jeremy Ruckert, who took a sizzling catch from 16 yards.
Remember This? – Haskins, Weber Star, No. 5 Ohio State Routs Beavers, 77-31
Fields went 19-for-31 for 299 yards without an interception.
“I think the whole team knew we didn’t play to our potential in the first half,” Fields said.
“We got together and came out with confidence in the second half and just played our game.”
Hill caught seven passes for 83 yards, while Chris Olave took five catches for 94 yards.
Running back Dobbins, meanwhile, carried the ball 33 times for 172 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State, which won its third straight conference title and certainly cement its place in the Top 2 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
“We took their best shot but we still had a half,” Dobbins said. “It would be cool to be No. 1. We’re a complete team, I think.”
Wisconsin (10-3) jumped out to a 14-0 lead after Jonathan Taylor ran home for a 44-yard touchdown and active quarterback Jack Coan rushed for 14 yards to double the score.
Coan also ran for another touchdown in the first half. He was 17 for 33 with 232 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Jonathan Taylor rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown for the Badgers, who lost their past four title games, including three to Ohio State, since winning three straight from 2010-12.
Taylor became the seventh player in FBS history to reach 6,000 yards rushing in his career, but was disappointed at missing out on the ultimate goal.
“We let it slip away,” Taylor said. “Just disappointed, like I said, because that (a championship) was my goal coming into the season.”
Quintez Cephus had seven catches for 122 yards for Wisconsin in the defeat.