J.T. Barrett escaped Wisconsin's pressure and shook off a mistake.
Ohio State's do-it-all quarterback proved his mettle after halftime in the toughest of road environments, accounting for three touchdowns and setting a school record in the process.
Barrett threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to leaping receiverNoah Brown in overtime, and the second-ranked Buckeyes finished off the eighth-ranked Badgers with a sack on fourth-and-goal from the 4 for a 30-23 win on Saturday night.
Barrett also ran for two touchdowns for the Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) in a contest that had the intensity of a championship heavyweight bout.
"That was just two good teams going at each other," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.
He had the best player on the field on his side.
The touchdown throw in overtime gave Barrett his 89th career touchdown passing or rushing, breaking the school record previously held by quarterback Braxton Miller.
The Buckeyes rushed the field after defensive end Tyquan Lewis sacked quarterback Alex Hornibrook to end the thriller. Just in time too, after school officials warned fans that severe weather was rolling through the area right before the final play.
Ohio State got the ball first in overtime, with Barrett ending the possession with the pass to Brown for the go-ahead score.
Barrett finished 17 of 29 for 226 yards with one interception, and ran for 92 yards on 21 carries.
"We grew up even more this week," Barrett said.
Corey Clement ran for 164 yards on 25 carries for Wisconsin (4-2, 1-2) and its revived rushing attack .
The Badgers gained chunks of yards in the first half on the Buckeyes' vaunted defense, but often had to settle for field goals. They led 16-6 at halftime.
It took a little while for Ohio State to get its bearings in the second half.
"We just had to keep on grinding. This Big Ten football," Barrett said.
But Barrett, as usual, led the charge. Wisconsin's defense often got to Barrett in the backfield and tried to contain him in the pocket, only to watch him slip away with just enough time to hit big passes.
"You look at those things ... how can we finish," coach Paul Chryst said. "At the same time, you say, `Hat's off, he's a heck of a player.'"
Ohio State: Barrett shook off his interception into the end zone during heavy rain early in the third quarter. He hit long pinpoint passes, often on the move, into tight coverage. The Buckeyes made it a point to work on the passing game leading into the game after problems last week against Indiana. That work paid off, though it didn't come easy against the Badgers' tough defense.
Wisconsin: Chryst dug deep into the playbook to throw off the Buckeyes in the first half, running receiver Jazz Peavy on jet sweeps and passing out of tight formations. The Badgers had manageable third-down situations, for the most part, for Hornibrook. Wisconsin picked up another first down in the fourth quarter after faking a run before Hornibrook threw a shovel pass to tight end Troy Fumagalli for 4-yard gain. The offensive-minded Chryst showed creativity that should keep Wisconsin's opponents guessing for the rest of the season.
"This one is tough ... because we didn't come into this one hoping to keep it close," Chryst said. "This one hurts tonight."
Ohio State: The Buckeyes padded their playoff resume, but don't figure to leapfrog top-ranked Alabama in the Top 25 poll on Sunday after the Crimson Tide's 39-point win over No. 9 Tennessee.
Wisconsin: The Badgers are the best 4-2 team in the nation with a losing record in their conference. Wisconsin also lost two weeks ago to No. 4 Michigan, 14-7, at the Big House. They figure to fall a few spots in the poll, but shouldn't be severely penalized given their admirable performances against top competition.
Ohio State: Barrett completed passes to eight different receivers. .... RBs Mike Weber and Curtis Samueleach finished with 46 yards rushing.
Wisconsin: Hornibrook, a freshman, was 16 of 28 for 214 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. ... Peavy finished with 70 yards on six carries, and 76 yards receiving on four catches, including a 24-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter that gave Wisconsin a 10-0 lead. .... The Badgers outgained the Buckeyes 450-411.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes play the second of two straight night games at a tough road venue when they visit Penn State on Oct. 22.
Wisconsin: There is no letup in the schedule with a trip to Iowa up next. The tested Badgers are coming off a stretch of having faced three straight top 10 opponents.