RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Seventh-ranked Ohio State's philosophy of winning with defense and Mike Nugent works well on the road, too.
The Buckeyes forced five turnovers and received a school record-tying five field goals from Nugent to beat North Carolina State, 22-14, and overcome a weak offensive performance.
Ohio State (3-0), which was playing its first non-conference road game in two years and in the Tar Heel State for the first time, managed just 137 total yards on 61 plays, including 64 on 40 rushes.
But the Buckeyes - who entered the contest with a minus-7 turnover ratio - scored 13 points off Wolfpack miscues to take control. Ohio State held a 6-0 lead when Donte Whitner intercepted Jay Davis late in the second quarter, and Lydell Ross scored on a three-yard run one play later.
Early in the third quarter, NC State running back T.A. McLendon fumbled at the Wolfpack 15 and Buckeyes defensive end Simon Fraser recovered, setting up a 33-yard field goal from Nugent, his third of the game.
After linebacker A.J. Hawk intercepted Davis at the NC State 28 late in the third quarter, Nugent connected on a 47-yard kick 53 seconds into the fourth to give Ohio State a 22-7 cushion.
Nugent - who had a career-long 55-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Buckeyes to a 24-21 triumph over Marshall last week - tied Bob Atha's mark of five field goals vs. Indiana in 1981.
Davis tossed a 26-yard pass to Brian Clark with 1:28 left to pull the Wolfpack within eight points, but the Buckeyes recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
"It's a shame because you only get one shot at that team here," Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato said. "But tip your hat to them. That's the kind of team they are. They won today with kicking and great defense."
Davis completed just 12-of-24 passes for 99 yards, one TD and three interceptions for the Wolfpack (1-1). McLendon, who missed the Wolfpack's 42-0 win over Division I-AA Richmond two weeks ago with a hamstring injury, had 15 carries for 94 yards and a score.
"I felt joyous about being out there," McLendon said. "I was really just blessed to be out there because who knew how many snaps I was going to get? When I go out there I just want to give 110 percent and help my team do whatever we've got to do. It just felt good to be out on the field and competing against a good team like Ohio State."
Justin Zwick went 10-of-21 for just 73 yards but did not toss a pick for Ohio State, which converted just 2-of-16 third downs.
The Wolfpack had 256 total yards - nearly double Ohio State's production - but committed 14 penalties for 121 yards.
"They've done it two games in a row now," said Amato his defense. "(Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring) and all the coaches over there have really done an outstanding job at getting things done. Like I told the players, we have to take this and build on it. We go to conference play this week, so let's go win the ACC."