Clay learning offense, carries increase

first_imgAs the season progresses, his carries continue to increase and his production remains consistently high.Redshirt freshman running back John Clay entered the weekend bout with Ohio State averaging 6.6 yards per carry on the season. Saturday, he finished with 10 carries for 69 yards, upping his season average once again.“I think I’ve grown as the season’s gone on,” Clay said. “The last couple of games I was kind of slow-starting, and then leading up to this game I started off fast. No turnovers, so that’s good for me.”In the team’s opening conference game against Michigan on Sept. 27, Clay rushed for 52 yards on only three carries. The significant increase in touches is credit to his work ethic off the field.“It’s a little bit of a combination of what he showed last week in addition to how he prepped this week during the course of the week,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “He’s got a tremendous amount of ability, and I love the way he loves to compete.”As for Clay, he’s just excited to contribute.“That just shows that I’ve made progress on my plays, and they’re trusting me now on my offensive scheme and picking up blocking,” he said. “It feels good that the offense counts on me. They’re trusting me to get first downs and get positive yards, so I’m just happy to help the offense any time I can.”Carimi goes down, Oglesby steps inWith about 12 minutes left in the second quarter, UW left tackle Gabe Carimi went down with an apparent leg injury and was unable to return. Redshirt freshman Josh Oglesby, the nation’s No.1 high school tackle recruit from two seasons ago, took his place for the remainder of the game.“I don’t think I can even put the feeling into words,” Oglesby said. “It was a shock. But it’s ‘next man in’ and I try and take that approach to it.”His coach was pleased with his performance.“Josh Oglesby popped in there and one thing that did jump out to me, I didn’t see him give up anything [negative],” Bielema said. “I said a few words to him when he first got in there, and he seemed to go out there and compete against a very good defensive front. I haven’t had a chance to assess exactly what he did, but it seemed like he popped in there and did some good things.”The severity of Carimi’s injury remains unknown, but if he is unable to go this Saturday against Penn State, Oglesby feels more than comfortable in what would be his first career start.“We have a tremendous coaching staff, so I’m not worried about being prepared for left tackle,” he said.Langford continues to play wellAfter undergoing offseason ACL surgery, senior cornerback Allen Langford’s health was a concern entering this season. But after a strong performance against an extremely talented Ohio State receiving corps — including an interception, three tackles and a pair of pass breakups — Langford has become everything but a question mark.“Allen, through the trials and tribulations that he’s had, is probably playing as good of football as I’ve seen him play,” Bielema said. “He’s started a lot of ball games for us; he has a confidence to him. He has so many seasoned plays and experience. People try and beat him deep, try and run hitches on him, they try and do everything. The personal story that he has to get to where he is today speaks a lot about what kind of person he is, and he’s definitely playing some pretty good football for us.”Of the acrobatic first-quarter interception, Langford remained humble.“I was just trying to do my job,” said the senior. “I was playing deep and I wanted to stay deep, and he actually threw the ball up there which gave me an opportunity to make a play and I did.”Bielema loses for first time at homeEntering Saturday night’s game, Bret Bielema was a perfect 16-0 in two-plus seasons as the Badgers’ head coach. His feeling, of course, was a new one, one he’s not looking forward to feeling again.“It was tough. It’s tough to lose the way you lose,” Bielema said. “That’s a very good football team; I have the utmost respect for coach Tressel, and I think they’ve got a lot of talent. It was nice to be an undefeated coach at home. It’s not a stat I’m looking for; I’m just looking for wins this year, and unfortunately we haven’t been able to get two of them.”last_img

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