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Buckeyes Have the Magic Touch

No. 4 Ohio State remains undefeated with a come-from-behind 19-14 victory at Wisconsin.

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Instead of dancing on the Wisconsin Badgers' logo, the Ohio State Buckeyes gathered at midfield and knelt in prayer.

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes might have been thankful to pull out another close road game, edging Wisconsin, 19-14, at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of a national title.

The visiting team has won the last four games in this series, but the Buckeyes (8-0, 3-0 in the Big Ten) ended a recent trend in which the victorious players danced on the other team's logo.

Ohio State has only three formidable opponents left -- Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan -- and those games are at Columbus. The Buckeyes also have road games at Purdue and Illinois. Because Ohio State doesn't play Iowa and doesn't have to play in a conference championship, it could have the inside track to a Fiesta Bowl berth.

"There have been some questions about the quality of our schedule," defensive tackle Tim Anderson said. "But this was certainly a quality win for us."

The Buckeyes had struggled in road victories at Cincinnati and Northwestern.

Freshman Maurice Clarett ran for 133 yards in 30 carries to lead the Buckeyes.

Clarett had a shoulder stinger on his final carry. But Coach Jim Tressel said his running back should be able to play Saturday against Penn State.

The Badgers (5-3, 0-3), who lost for the eighth time in their last 10 conference home games, took a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter, but Craig Krenzel threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Ben Hartsock with 10 minutes left to put the Buckeyes ahead, 19-14.

"I was catching that with every part of my body possible," Hartsock said. "It was like there was a baby in there."

The Buckeyes' Mike Nugent made a school-record 16th consecutive field goal, from 27 yards, in the first quarter for a 10-7 lead and added a 25-yarder to make it 13-7 after Ohio State recovered a fumble at the Badger 32.

The Badgers' Anthony Davis had 25 carries for 144 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown run.Wisconsin fell to 0-9-1 against top-five teams under Coach Barry Alvarez.

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