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Ohio State Sputters, but Stops Northwestern

October 06, 2002|From Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. — Freshman Maurice Clarett ran for two touchdowns on the way to his fourth consecutive 100-yard game--one shy of the school record--and Mike Nugent kicked two field goals as fifth-ranked Ohio State held off scrappy Northwestern, 27-16, Saturday night.

Clarett finished with 140 yards rushing, giving him 715 in five games, but he also fumbled three times. Craig Krenzel completed 11 of 22 passes for 170 yards and ran for 62 yards for Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten).

It was the Buckeyes' 23rd consecutive victory over Northwestern (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten), a streak dating to 1971.

The Wildcats had plenty of chances to break their losing streak, but they missed two field goals and had to settle for field goals on two other possessions inside the Ohio State 10.

"There were critical plays and the credit goes to Ohio State. They made them and we didn't," Northwestern Coach Randy Walker said. "You can't get some of those plays back on the goal line."

The Buckeyes didn't score until the second quarter, on a three-yard run by Lydell Ross. They added another touchdown on Clarett's two-yard run with 2:43 left in the half for a 14-9 lead.

Northwestern had a chance to seize the momentum just before halftime when Wright had a 31-yard run and 31-yard reception, putting Northwestern at the Ohio State four. But the Wildcats couldn't get into the end zone, and Wasielewski's 18-yard field goal attempt was wide right.

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