MADISON, Wis. -- Terrelle Pryor passed his first big test for No. 14-ranked Ohio State.
The freshman quarterback ran 11 yards for a touchdown with 1 minute 8 seconds to play, and Chris Wells had 168 yards rushing and one touchdown, as the Buckeyes’ new double-threat backfield shined in a 20-17 victory over No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday night.
The last time the Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten Conference) played a marquee game under the lights, they got pounded by USC last month. Wells didn’t play in that game, and Pryor wasn’t the starter.
Pryor, 19, kept his poise in his third college start, leading Ohio State on two fourth-quarter scoring drives and ending Wisconsin’s home winning streak at 16 games. Coach Jim Tressel evened his record (3-3) against the Badgers (3-2, 0-2).
“Every snap he gets, he learns from. He was under duress tonight,” Tressel said. “They were playing hard, they were coming after him, they were going to make him do things with lots of people in his face, and he’s coming of age.”
Pryor did it on the game-winning drive through the air and on the ground.
With Ohio State trailing, 17-13, Pryor twice found receiver Brian Hartline for big gains, although Hartline fumbled on the second completion for 27 yards and needed Brian Robiske’s recovery to keep possession at the Badgers’ 35-yard line. Wells, who has been wearing a lineman’s shoe to protect his injured foot, had 13 yards in three carries, and Pryor picked up a first down on a third-and-one run from the 15 with less than two minutes to play.
Pryor, who finished with 144 yards passing and 20 yards rushing, then ran an option with Wells flared out wide. But Pryor chose to keep it himself and reached the end zone.
Wisconsin quarterback Allan Evridge committed his second turnover when Malcolm Jenkins intercepted his pass to all but seal the win with 53 seconds left.
Pryor helped end the Badgers’ winning streak at night at 11 games and helped hand them their first loss at Camp Randall Stadium since Nov. 12, 2005, against Iowa.