The struggle which the Rutgers football team has endured since joining the Big Ten continued this Saturday against Wisconsin.The Badgers improved to 7-2 Overall and 4-1 Big Ten by way of their 48-10 thrashing of the Scarlet Knights, who now sit at a lackluster 3-5 Overall, 1-4 Big Ten record.Only three minutes and 34 seconds into the first quarter, Rafael Gaglianone hit a 49-yard field goal to put Wisconsin up after two false-start penalties committed by Troy Fumagalli stalled the Badgers’ drive. Despite Rutgers’ defense’s continued attempts to then halt Wisconsin throughout the remainder of the game, they proved to be unfruitful.A 27-yard pass from Joel Stave to Alex Erickson early in the first quarter, which put the Badgers at Rutgers’ 14 yard-line, set up two subsequent Corey Clement runs, the second of which was a 12-yard carry where Clement stymied the Scarlet Knights’ defense with two jukes and a bounce to the outside for a touchdown.Clement’s dominance would continue as the afternoon went on. The junior rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 10.5 yards per carry.Joel Stave provided a balance to Wisconsin’s formidable offense, throwing for 217 yards and a 31-yard touchdown to Alex Erickson for an early second-quarter score.The Badgers’ defense was once again stalwart, conceding only a field goal since Rutgers’ lone touchdown came from a pick-six. Vince Biegel’s two sacks and Jack Cichy’s – the sophomore stepping in for the injured Chris Orr – eight total total tackles were integral pieces in Wisconsin’s efforts of keeping Rutgers at bay.Offensive Player of the Game: Corey ClementReturning from a sports hernia that sidelined the star running back for over two months, not much was expected from Clement, head coach Paul Chryst said. Wisconsin received a pleasant surprise however, much to the chagrin of Rutgers.Clement’s added presence energized the Badgers and helped balance an offense which has seen the bulk of the work fall on Stave’s shoulders. Clement’s three touchdowns and 115 rushing yards put Rutgers to bed early on in the game, when his agility cut through a static Rutgers’ defense on his first quarter touchdown.Defensive Player of the Game: Vince BiegelBiegel’s usual charismatic and aggressive attitude certainly put some scare into Rutgers’ offense. Benefitting from the wet conditions, Biegel’s two sacks were timely and halted the Scarlet Knight’s offense on a third down which forced them to punt from their 22 yard-line.Turning PointClement’s first touchdown was when it became obvious that this was the Badgers’ game to lose. Wrestling out of the pocket, juking past two defenders and then bouncing to the outside, Clement – who professed afterward that he feels only 85 percent healthy – was a one-man show. Which he certainly showed on this play, incurring a 15-yard penalty afterward as he celebrated his return amongst teammates in front of the student section.When you knew it was overStave’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Alex Erickson signified that nothing was going to stop Wisconsin from reaching the endzone. If Clement was shredding the Scarlet Knight’s defense, then Stave was going to get a piece of the action as well, proving that Rutgers couldn’t thwart the Badgers regardless of how they attacked.QuotableChryst on the Wisconsin defense:“I thought our defense – and you guys saw it – I mean, they were tremendous.”Cichy on his first start:“Credit to my defensive line, they helped a lot for plays I was able to make. A lot of those were on them. They pretty much made those plays, I just tackled the guy.”Erickson on the confidence boost from today’s win:“It was huge, we battled through the conditions…we made some explosive plays which is always good for an offense, takes some pressure off of the long drives and allows us to be more explosive.”Clement on his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty:“When I got into the endzone, I forgot how to act. Me and Coach Chryst exchanged our words and he told me I only get two [unsportsmanlike conducts], so I thought about it. The next time I scored, I had to remain calm and the hand the ball to the ref.”
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