Think the Badgers missed Corey Clement?
Wisconsin’s junior running back got eight carries in the season-opening loss to Alabama and missed the next seven games while recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia.
But Clement returned in a big way Saturday, rushing for 115 yards and scoring three touchdowns in his first action since Week 1, as Wisconsin blew out Rutgers, 48-10.
Clement’s second carry of the game went for a 12-yard touchdown run that put the Badgers on top, 10-0.
Not long after a Rutgers field goal, Wisconsin capitalized on a short field, as Joel Stave hit Alex Erickson for a 31-yard touchdown on fourth down.
Clement added his second touchdown run of the afternoon, a 21-yarder, to boost the Badgers’ lead to 24-3, and a field goal as time ran out on the first half gave Wisconsin a 27-3 edge at halftime.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t do much of anything right Saturday, and that was illustrated no better than when after an interception of a Stave deep ball, Rutgers fumbled away a snap inside its own five-yard line, setting up Clement’s third scoring run to make it 34-3.
Stave threw another interception, this one returned for a touchdown by Rutgers. But Clement snatched any momentum back with a 58-yard run that set up Dare Ogunbowale’s four-yard touchdown run.
Tanner McEvoy completed some sort of wild hat trick with a 20-yard touchdown run to make it 48-10 after already registering a sack and an interception on the defensive side of the ball.
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Clement finished with the 115 yards on just 11 carries. His return was a big boost, helping the Badgers to 209 rushing yards on the day. Wisconsin ranked 11th in the Big Ten in rushing entering Saturday's game, and Clement's continued success — he obviously wasn't at 100 percent Saturday — can return Wisconsin to its usual rushing dominance.
Stave passed for 217 yards and a touchdown in the win. And the Badgers' defense performed brilliantly, holding the Knights to just 165 total yards.
The Badgers looked excellent on Saturday, and their resume looks pretty stellar, too. Wisconsin sits at 7-2 on the season with its only losses coming to top-10 teams Alabama and Iowa. The Badgers’ remaining schedule doesn’t seem to present too many opportunities for losses, but neither does the Hawkeyes’, meaning it still would be tricky for Wisconsin to reach the Big Ten title game.
Rutgers fell to 3-5 with Saturday’s loss, 1-4 in the Big Ten.