Matt Edwards / Asst. multimedia editor
In his second game of the season, Daniel “Boom” Herron ignited Ohio Stadium Saturday night, helping his team earn a win against Wisconsin, despite the skill of Badger junior running back Montee Ball.
Statistically, both Herron and Ball have accomplished a great deal in their careers. The two were running targets in the game, with a bullseye emblazoned on their backs by both opponents’ defenses. Prior to Saturday’s game, Herron was ranked second among active Big Ten players in rushing yards and touchdowns with 2,308 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career. Ball didn’t quite measure up to Herron in rushing yards with 2,155, but was the active Big Ten leader in rushing touchdowns with 39 heading into Saturday’s game.
After losing to Michigan State, Wisconsin took the lead early against Ohio State with a touchdown by Ball, for what was the only score in the first quarter. The Buckeyes answered with a field goal in the second quarter, but trailed the Badgers 7-3 heading into halftime. Herron had managed just 35 yards compared to just 11 yards by ball.
But when the second half began, it was a completely different ball game. The Herron that was limited by the Badger defense in the first half was back with full force.
Herron came alive in the third quarter, more than doubling his rushing yards from the previous two quarters combined, for a total of 124-yards. Ball gained 35 yards in the whole third quarter. In the first drive of the quarter, Herron rushed up the middle for 57 yards, setting up Miller’s stroll into the end zone for OSU’s first touchdown of the game.
When the clock ran out and the Buckeyes claimed victory, Herron had chalked up a total of 160 yards rushing, to Ball’s 85. Ball also had 30 receiving yards in the game.
After the win, Herron said they made a couple of adjustments before the second half that affected the long run at the start of the third quarter.
“The whole line was doing a great job and it opened a great hole for me in that second half at the beginning of the game,” Herron said.
Wisconsin head coach, Bret Bielema, said the back and forth scoring near the end of the game did not surprise him.
“We got the ball in the offense’s hands,” Bielema said. “We thought we could score but we ended up scoring too soon.”
With time running out on OSU’s final drive, Herron ran 3-yards for a first down, setting the stage for Miller’s unexpected 40-yard pass to win the game.
In his second game after a six-game suspension, Herron appeared teary-eyed before the game.
“I’ve just been kind of emotional before the game because I was given the opportunity to come back to play for my team,” Herron said. “Coach (Luke) Fickell gave me the opportunity to be a captain and it’s such a big game and it was such a great honor. I just really wanted to win this game.”