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Historic heroics: Clay carries Badgers past No. 1 Ohio State

Badger Gameday: Ohio State

16 Wisconsin 31, 1 Ohio State 18
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
 Ohio State
0 3
7 8 18
 Wisconsin 14
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: John Clay - 21 Car, 104 Yds, 2 TD
 • Passing: Scott Tolzien - 13-16, 152 Yds, INT
 • Receiving: Nick Toon - 6 Rec, 72 Yds
 • Defense: Blake Sorensen - 10 Tkl, INT
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
14:48 Gilreath 97 kickoff return TD (Welch kick)
WIS 10:00 Clay 14 TD run (Welch kick)
 Second Quarter
WIS 13:15 Clay 1 TD run (Welch kick)
OSU 6:48 Barclay 23 FG
 Third Quarter
OSU 10:08 Herron 13 TD run (Barclay kick)
 Fourth Quarter
OSU 11:38 Herron 1 TD run (Fragel pass from Pryor)
WIS 6:57 White 12 TD run (Welch kick)
WIS 4:14 Welch 41 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 • First Downs
22 21
 • Total Offensive Yards
311 336
 • Passing Yards
156 152
 • Rushing Yards
155 184
 • Penalties-Yards
 • Turnovers 1
 • Punts-Avg.
3-38.0 2-50.5
 • Punt Returns-Avg.
0-0.0 1-13.0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 6-24.5 4-40.8
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 6-13 4-8
 • 4th-Down Conversions 1-1 1-1
 • Time of Possession
30:03 29:57
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Oct. 16, 2010

Final Stats  |  Final Stats Get    Acrobat  Reader  |  Notes

MADISON, Wis. -- The opening act was a tough one to follow, but when the lights shone the brightest, the No. 16 Wisconsin football team stepped confidently into the spotlight.

David Gilreath's 97-yard touchdown return on the game's opening kickoff set the tone, but it was a late scoring drive that sealed the deal as the Badgers scored a 31-18 win over No. 1 Ohio State late Saturday inside a raucous Camp Randall Stadium.

It was a sequel 29 years in the making, as Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1) claimed its first win over a No.1-ranked team since downing top-ranked Michigan in 1981.

The win set off a celebration that spilled out of the packed student section and onto the field.

"You just felt the anticipation and the excitement, but there was also calmness in our preparation," UW head coach Bielema said. "I pointed out before we left the locker room that we've been in four-quarter games this year and I don't think Ohio State had been."

After a day-long buildup to one of the biggest games Camp Randall has seen, playing a four-quarter game was exactly what it required to get past the Buckeyes.

Still, the Badgers did their best to take the drama out of the matchup early.

 Instant Impressions
Badgers flip script with clutch drive
Wisconsin had the lead but Ohio State had the momentum, at least until Scott Tolzien, James White and company put together a big drive at crunch time, Brian Mason writes.  |  Story

Gilreath staked UW to a 7-0 lead before the offense even touched the ball, taking the opening kick and streaking through the Buckeyes' kick coverage for Wisconsin's first kickoff return for touchdown since Lee Evans took back an onside kick in 2000.

Not to be outdone, the offense was just as productive when it got its chance.

Junior tailback John Clay - who became the first player to rush for 100 yards on Ohio State in 29 games - finished the day with 104 yards on 21 carries and rushed for two scores. Freshman backfield mate James White added another rushing score in addition to 75 yards on the ground.

Through the air, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien was nearly unflappable. Despite an early interception, Tolzien completed 13 of 16 passes for 152 yards. He connected with junior wide receiver Nick Toon six times for 72 yards.

In all, the Badgers totaled 152 yards passing and another 184 on the ground for a total of 336 on the night. Ohio State's numbers were similar at 155 on the ground and 156 through the air for a total of 311.

Clay carried the load to double the Badgers' advantage on UW's first offensive series. He toted the ball five times to cover 51 yards on the way to a rushing score that made it 14-0 in favor of the hosts just five minutes into the contest.

The Badgers held the ball for 11 minutes, 18 seconds of the opening quarter and largely kept the ball out of the hands of Ohio State's play-making quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.

Ohio State was limited to four first-half drives that resulted in a pair of punts, a missed field goal and just three points.

The Badgers, meanwhile, built their lead to 21-3 after an exhaustive, 19-play, 10-minute drive that Clay capped with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

The Badgers' two scoring drives, which were both finished off by Clay, consisted of a combined 25 plays that consumed 13 minutes of clock.

The Buckeyes, however, were far from finished.

As well as the Badgers had fared at playing keep-away in the first half, the Buckeyes worked hard to perfect the game in the second half.

Pryor came out firing and went 7-for-7 for 86 yards through the air in the third quarter as he controlled an Ohio State offense that monopolized the ball for 11:26 of the period.

Despite that dominance in terms of time of possession -- due in large part to a scoring drive that ate 9:56 of clock -- the Buckeyes emerged from the quarter only one score closer at 21-10.  Dan Herron put that tally on the board when he broke free for a 13-yard touchdown run five minutes into the quarter.

The Buckeyes weren't deterred by the passion the sellout crowd showed during the traditional playing of "Jump Around" before the final period, either. OSU continued its offensive march, and Herron added another score and successful two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter that drew the Buckeyes within three points at 21-18.

The punch didn't send the Badgers to the canvas, though. In fact, they barely wobbled.

The Badgers' counter-punch came in the form of a 10-play drive that covered 73 yards on the way to a 12-yard rushing touchdown for freshman tailback James White.

Tolzien opened the drive by completing 4 of 5 passes - including back-to-back connections with Nick Toon for 29 yards - before handing the keys to White. The freshman drove from there, covering the final 23 yards on the way to the end zone.

The last 12 came on an ankle-breaking run that allowed White to trot across the goal line for a score that bumped the Badgers' lead back to 10 points with 4:43 showing on the clock.

Three incompletions by Pryor led to a Buckeyes punt, an opportunity the Badgers used to seal the win with a 41-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Philip Welch.

The Badgers held firm when the Buckeyes took over, with Blake Sorensen picking off a last-gasp pass from Pryor to cap a historic day.

"I think our kids, more so now than ever, believe what we're selling as coaches," Bielema said. "We went out there today and executed some fundamental things that gave us the win in the end."


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