first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThings didn’t start well for John Clay in his secondgame as a Badger. Wisconsin trailed 14-0 when the running back came in for hisfirst carry of the game, but the freshman fumbled the ball and was taken outafter the 2-yard loss. By the time Clay got back into the contest, UW had builta big lead and Clay was ready to help extend it.“Little nervous,” Claysaid about his start. “I always get nervous when I’m out there, and it kind ofshowed when I dropped the ball. After I got that out of my system, I was goodto go.”The running back finished the game with 11 carries for56 yards and a pair of touchdowns.While he finished with a significant number of carries,most of them came when the outcome was no longer in doubt, but that’s fine withClay.“It was no problem; Ijust come in whenever they need me,” Clay said. “I’m here to help the team.”When they did need him,Clay was a force to be reckoned with. He bowled over defenders, not shying awayfrom contact and continued to establish himself as a tough runner.“You can see on some ofthose runs when we gets his shoulders and his knees going, he’s prettyeffective,” head coach Bret Bielema said.After scoring his firsttouchdown last week, Clay’s celebration had been a little too much according toBielema. Against Marshall, it wasn’t a problem.“I just handed the ballto the ref,” Clay said. Beckum sits againTight end Travis Beckumsat out again Saturday. The Badgers’ leading receiver from a season ago has notplayed in either of Wisconsin’s first two games because of a hamstring injury. “[Beckum] tried to go a little bitThursday, but I basically said if he isn’t [going to] practice on Thursday,we’re not going to play him on Saturday,” Bielema said. “He went through areally good workout [Friday] as well as [Saturday], so we should have him full-gofor next week.”Bielema also mentioned linebacker Jonathan Casillashad been close to playing. Fullback Chris Pressley, who sat last week, was ableto return to action against Marshall. Kicking game impressiveWisconsin might have started out a little flat Saturday,but one Badger who was impressive from the beginning was punter Brad Nortman.Nortman’s first punt of the game went 57 yards, and hefinished the game averaging 47.7 yards per punt. “I don’t know what the first punt’s hang time was,but it was amazing,” Bielema said.Philip Welch also looked good in his second game,hitting a 45-yard field goal that Bielema thought might have been a little outof his range.“That was into a prettystiff breeze. I had to be talked into it, give [specialists coach] CharliePartridge kudos.” Bielema said. “I had 41[yards] on my sheet. That was gonna bethe max.”“I thought TaylorMelhalff was confident. Philip, he thinks he could kick a 75-yard field goal ifhe has to,” the coach added.Welch is now 2-2 onfield goals this season.“I think our kickinggame could be a strength,” Bielema said.last_img

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