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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, March 03, 2024

Last week's MVP: Badgers' backfield dominates Fighting Illini in blowout win

The Badgers’ running game put on a blistering performance Saturday evening, propelling Wisconsin to a 48-3 trouncing of Illinois. The air attack was severely subdued all game, as their two passing touchdowns came only as a result of the ground attack carrying the offense to the red zone to set up those scores.

Racking up a bountiful 64 attempts, head coach Paul Chryst gave the keys to the offense to the likes of senior running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, as well as freshman Bradrick Shaw.

After Clement’s 100-plus yard, one-touchdown performance last week against Northwestern, the senior ran at will against Illinois, finishing with 123 yards and three touchdowns.

Clement needed just three rushes from the Illinois 34-yard line to find the end zone for the first time. Not three minutes later, Clement crossed the goal line for his second touchdown in the first quarter on a four-yard burst on second and goal.

His third touchdown of the evening came when the Badgers pounded Illinois with 11 straight runs––Clement accounted for six of those––culminating in a two-yard finish that ballooned the senior’s touchdown total to 10 on the season.

Ogunbowale made the most of his seven attempts, pacing his way to 103 yards on the day––an average of 14.7 yards per carry. That included a monster 48-yard run that set up freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jazz Peavy late in the first quarter.

Shaw saw two career-highs Saturday evening, as the freshman took on his largest load of carries at 19, which in turn led to his highest yardage total at 80. Shaw capped-off his active day with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, bumping his total to three on the season.

Saturday evening showcased the strong tradition of the dynamic running corps Wisconsin has long been heralded for. Clement and Ogunbowale displayed their skill in the twilights of their collegiate careers, while Shaw gave fans a glimpse of what will come.

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