MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Ohio State got big plays from a pair of receivers - one on offense and one on defense - to remain the only unbeaten team in the Big Ten Conference.
Michael Jenkins made a spectacular 46-yard catch to set up the go-ahead score and Chris Gamble intercepted a pass in the end zone later in the fourth quarter as the fourth-ranked Buckeyes held on for a 19-14 victory over slumping Wisconsin.
Ohio State (8-0, 3-0 Big Ten) trailed, 14-13, early in the final period when Jenkins outleaped cornerback B.J. Tucker and hauled in the long pass from Craig Krenzel at the Wisconsin 39.
"We just felt like we had to strike with some big ones if we were going to have a chance to beat them," Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said. "A year ago, if you remember, we had some guys open and we did not hit them. It was good to see Mike come up with a couple of big plays."
Six plays later, the Badgers bit on a fake pitch and Krenzel hit wide-open tight end Ben Hartsock for a three-yard touchdown. Under pressure, Krenzel threw incomplete on the two-point conversion.
"I thought the key play of the game was 3rd-and-7 in the fourth quarter. They really hadn't done much for a quarter and a half and the ball was up in the air," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "We had two guys in position, no one made a play on the ball and they made a big completion and were able to go down and score."
Backup quarterback Jim Sorgi moved Wisconsin into position to regain the lead on the next possession. But Gamble, a sophomore flanker who has been used in the secondary by coach Jim Tressel, intercepted an underthrown pass intended for Jonathan Orr and landed in the end zone.
"He catches things better than most people," Tressel said of Gamble. "It does not matter if it was intended for him or if he was covering the guy. He can go up and catch the football. That was a pretty big one. He is just outrunning athletes and you wish you could play him all the time."
Freshman Maurice Clarett rushed for 133 yards on 30 carries and Jenkins had five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State, which hosts Penn State next week.
Anthony Davis carried 25 times for 144 yards and a TD, but the Badgers (5-3, 0-3) dropped their third straight game.
"No one likes to lose, yet I thought we showed improvement," Alvarez said. "I like the way my guys competed. They made a couple more plays than we did."
It did not take the Buckeyes long to grab the lead. Clarett broke off a 25-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and, after Gamble ran for three yards, Krenzel and Jenkins hooked up for a 47-yard touchdown just 90 seconds into the game.
Wisconsin penetrated Ohio State territory on its first possession, then tied the game on its second. After an 18-yard punt return by Jim Leonhard, Davis dashed 20 yards to the Buckeyes' 46. Brooks Bollinger had a five-yard toss to Matt Bernstein before Davis raced 41 yards to make it 7-7.
Ohio State answered with a 70-yard drive and regained the lead on a 27-yard field goal by Mike Nugent.
After safety Mike Doss recovered a fumble by Bollinger at the Badgers' 32, Nugent added a 25-yarder to extend the Buckeyes' lead to 13-7 early in the second quarter.
Things got worse for Wisconsin as Bollinger was sacked on back-to-back plays the next time the Badgers had the ball and left with a concussion after going 3-for-3 for 21 yards.
Sorgi provided an instant boost with help from Davis, who gained 26 yards on three straight carries to start Wisconsin's next drive. Three plays after scrambling 10 yards for a first down, Sorgi hit Orr for a 42-yard TD that put the Badgers ahead at halftime, 14-13.
Sorgi was 7-for-15 for 137 yards with an interception while Orr caught four passes for 107 yards.
Krenzel completed 12-of-19 passes for 204 yards and Clarett set a school freshman record with his sixth 100-yard rushing effort.
"I thought Craig played a very steady game," Tressel said. "He stepped up and ran a couple that were important. He threw the ball, I thought fairly well. He was under a little bit of stress, protection-wise, at one stage in the second quarter."
The visiting team has won the last four games in the series, which is led by Ohio State, 50-15-5.