Clay helps No. 11 Badgers run past Spartans, 27-14




Badger Gameday: San Jose State

11 Wisconsin 27, San Jose State 14
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
San Jose State
0 0
7 7 14
 Wisconsin
7
10
3
7
27
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: John Clay - 137 Yds, 6.0 avg, 2 TD
 • Passing: Scott Tolzien - 15-22, 191 Yds, 1 TD
 • Receiving: Lance Kendricks - 3 Rec, 60 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Antonio Fenelus - 7 Tkl, INT
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
WIS
10:03 Clay 1 TD run (Welch kick)
 Second Quarter
WIS 14:16 Kendricks 14 TD pass from Tolzien (Welch kick)
WIS 0:00
Welch 45 FG
 Third Quarter
WIS 8:11 Welch 37 FG
SJSU
0:47 Jones 37 TD pass from La Secla (Waid kick)
 Fourth Quarter
 WIS 11:16 Clay 1 TD run (Welch kick)
SJSU 5:45 Grigsby 12 TD pass from La Secla (Waid kick)
 Stats at a Glance
SJSU
WIS
 • First Downs
14 27
 • Total Offensive Yards
307
403
 • Passing Yards
252
191
 • Rushing Yards
55
212
 • Penalties-Yards
7-52
2-25
 • Turnovers 2
2
 • Punts-Avg.
6-23.3
3-44.7
 • Punt Returns-Avg.
0-0.0 2-2.5
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 4-22.0 3-11.7
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 3-12 8-13
 • 4th-Down Conversions 1-1 0-1
 • Time of Possession
28:06 31:54
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Sept. 11, 2010

Final Stats  |  Final Stats Get    Acrobat  Reader  |  Notes

MADISON, Wis. -- A pair of John Clay touchdowns and a solid defensive effort helped the No. 11 Wisconsin football team weather an up-and-down day offensively and score a 27-14 win over San Jose State in the Badgers' home-opener at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

Clay registered his eighth-consecutive 100-yard rushing game and found the end zone twice, while the Badgers' defense held the Spartans to just 55 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.

It was enough to overcome a day that saw the UW offense fumble the ball four times and convert on only four of seven red zone chances.

"I told the team afterward that if I came in that locker room and they weren't disappointed, I was going to be disappointed in them," head coach Bret Bielema said. "I know that they expect to be good. Two things I've never questioned with these guys are their effort and their desire to be successful."

Clay finished the day with 137 yards to go along with his scores, while Montee Ball contributed 31 yards and true freshman James White added 25 more out of the backfield. Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien went 15-for-22 for 191 yards and finished with a touchdown and an interception.

His favorite target was freshman wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, who tallied a team-high five receptions for 58 yards. Senior tight end Lance Kendricks hauled in three passes for 60 yards, including a first-half touchdown.

Still, there were plenty of bumps in the road for the Badgers (2-0).

 Instant Impressions
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UW's first drive of the second half looked a little too much like a pair of first-half possessions the Badgers had hoped not to replicate. After a fumble in the backfield on third down, kicker Philip Welch converted a 37-yard field goal to put the Badgers up 20-0.

The second drive, set up by an Antonio Fenelus interception, was more of the same. After a holding call wiped away a 21-yard pass from Tolzien to Kendricks, Isaac Anderson stumbled running a route and San Jose State's Peyton Thompson took advantage by snaring an interception.

What followed was the defense's only real breakdown of the day, as San Jose State quarterback Jordan La Secla hooked up with Chandler Jones on a 37-yard touchdown pass.

The Badgers' offense responded with a great effort when it got the ball back, however. Tolzien led a 10-play march in which he went 3-for-3 with connections to Abbrederis (14 yards), Kendricks (25) and Kyle Jefferson (18) to set the stage for a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Clay.

"You've just got to stay locked in," Clay said. "When my time comes to go in, I just have to keep going with that rhythm I had before."

The score made it 27-7 Badgers, with the Spartans tacking on another passing touchdown in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin.

Fenelus and linebacker Blake Sorensen anchored the defensive effort with seven tackles and an interception each, while defensive end J.J. Watt finished with six total stops - including three tackles-for-loss and a blocked field goal. Louis Nzegwu also had six tackles from the other defensive end spot.

"We started out really fast," Watt said. "The second half, we need to finish better, but we can come in tomorrow and watch film and start improving."

The Badgers went into halftime with a 17-0 lead after an opening 30 minutes that ran hot and cold offensively.

The lead was largely due to the efforts of the defense, which held the Spartans to 110 total yards and a combined 2-for-9 mark on third- and fourth-down attempts.

Despite a pair of stalled red zone possessions that ended in fumbles, UW also found the end zone twice on a 1-yard run by Clay and a nifty 14-yard pass-and-catch from Tolzien to Kendricks.

Bielema and his staff elected to take the ball when they won the opening coin toss, and the Badgers offense wasted little time in showing why.

The offensive unit used 10 plays and 4 minutes, 50 seconds to methodically drive 77 yards for a touchdown that posted the Badgers to a 7-0 lead just under five minutes into the opening quarter.

Tolzien hit Jacob Pedersen and Anderson for back-to-back first-down passes and then turned things over to the rushing attack, with Ball rushing twice before Clay took the next three handoffs to cover the final 10 yards on the way to the end zone.

The defense responded with an outstanding play on the Spartans' ensuing series. Watt broke loose on second-and-long and put pressure on SJSU quarterback Matt Faulkner, who managed to get a pass off over Watt's reach but left it up for grabs. Sorensen barely had to reach for the ball and snagged it at midfield, returning the interception 16 yards to set up UW's fourth drive.

Tolzien and Kendricks quickly finished it off, connecting on an easy-as-they come 14-yard touchdown pass that made it 14-0 Badgers less than a minute into the second quarter. The Badgers sent a lone receiver out on the play, but Kendricks released his block and was wide open to haul in Tolzien's soft toss and trot into the end zone.

"It was a delay," Kendricks said. "I sat in for the block a little bit, looked for the safeties to flow over and then I go."

Another stop by the defense -- which included a botched punt by the Spartans and a forced fumble by Sorensen -- again gave the Badgers excellent field position.

The possession went nowhere, however, and a mishandled snap on fourth-and-1 turned things back over to the Spartans. It was the second fumble of the day Tolzien was forced to fall on and the second red-zone possession to come up empty for UW.

The defense responded again, despite a 46-yard completion that put the Spartans in UW territory for the first time late in the half. The Badgers held firm and forced SJSU into a 43-yard field goal attempt that Watt got a hand on to block.

That left the Badgers with 74 yards to cover and 1:28 on the clock.

Tolzien and Abbrederis were the catalysts for the fast-moving drive, with Tolzien completing 4 of 5 passes for 42 yards. That included three passes to Abbrederis - the first of his career - for 30 yards.

That got the Badgers down to the Spartans' 28, which was close enough for Welch to split the uprights on a 45-yard field goal attempt as time expired on the half.

The Badgers return to action at Camp Randall next Saturday, hosting Arizona State in a game set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. ABC will televise the game live.

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