Badgers' backs run wild on OSU
Published: Sunday, October 17, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 22:06
The state of Wisconsin is known for its cheese, but it was Ohio State's defense on Saturday that looked like a block of Swiss: full of holes for Badger running back John Clay. The senior racked up 104 yards in Saturday's game, which Wisconsin won 31-18.
In last year's matchup at Ohio Stadium, Clay had 59 yards on 20 carries against the Buckeyes, but after just one quarter in Camp Randall, he had already racked up 71 yards, including a touchdown to put the Badgers up 14-0 early in the game.
"Football is a game of execution," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "It's one thing to talk about football, it's another thing to draw it up on the board, and the big thing is to execute. They executed."
Senior captain and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward attributed Clay's success in part to the line's failure to execute defensively.
"They did a pretty good job," Heyward said. "But we didn't do a good job of executing as well. But you've got to tip your hats off to them, they played their butts off."
After giving up 184 total yards on the ground to the Badgers, Heyward took much of the blame.
"We have to learn from our mistakes." Heyward said. "I didn't perform as well as I wanted to, I take this loss very personally. If there is ever a finger to be pointed it's at me. As a leader of this defense I think it starts up front and I don't think we did a good job at all."
The final nail in the defense's coffin came after quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeye offense had brought the team within three of the Badgers. Wisconsin had the ball on the OSU 12-yard line and Badgers' running back James White scored to put Wisconsin up 28-18.
The Wisconsin offensive line "did a great job protecting and showing, obviously, the run and then passing," said defensive lineman Dexter Larimore. "But the bottom line is that our D-line didn't give enough pressure and we, as a defense, didn't collaborate on third down and get off the field."
Despite the defensive struggles, both Tressel and Heyward said that Wisconsin hadn't done anything outside of the ordinary, nothing that they hadn't prepared for.
"If I had to bet (what they did on offense) wasn't anything too earth-shattering, just excellent execution," Tressel said. "This was probably a lot of their base package."
OSU special teams continued to give up valuable points when David Gilreath returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a Badger touchdown. It sparked a horrendous first half for the Buckeyes.
With 10 minutes left in the second quarter, OSU held the Badgers from within the 5-yard line for two downs before giving up a 1-yard touchdown to Clay, putting the Badgers up 21-0.
After two field goal attempts, the Buckeyes headed to the locker room down 21-3. The defense improved in the second half as the Buckeyes outscored the Badgers by five points, but their efforts were in vain.
"To Wisconsin's credit, when it got to (21-18), they stepped up and kept that 10-point cushion on us the rest of the second half and they came up with the win," Tressel said.