Stephanie McMahon Q&A:

Badgers run all over Tennessee Tech, 48-0

The SportsXchange

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin will have no problems this season with its running game if it keeps feeding the ball to Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement.

For the second straight game, the trio of running backs each surpassed 100 rushing yards, and No. 21 Wisconsin ran over Tennessee Tech 48-0 on Saturday.

Gordon rushed for 140 yards on nine carries -- all in the first half. His 37-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter gave Wisconsin a 21-0 lead.

White, a senior, ran for 109 yards and a score on 22 carries. And Clement, a freshman, ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts.

It marked the fourth time in school history that three Badgers have reached the 100-yard rushing mark.

Gordon said he has been pumped by the healthy practice competition among the running backs.

"It's good for our team and offense, and the competition among us is going to keep us on our feet," Gordon said. "You know if one person slacks, that guy is chasing you and right there. You never want to be that guy that drops down the depth chart. We're definitely being kept on our toes."

Wisconsin extended its winning streak to 28 games against nonconference opponents, dating back to 2003. The Badgers, who switched to a 3-4 defense under first-year coach Gary Andersen, also recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1958.

The Badgers (2-0) came out strong against the Golden Eagles (1-1). Cornerback Darius Hillary forced a fumble on Tennessee Tech's first play from scrimmage. Dezman Southward picked up the ball and the Badgers took over.

Quarterback Joel Stave threw a 3-yard pass to fullback Derek Straus for the Badgers' first touchdown. It was the first career TD for the sophomore, who was making his first start.

Straus also had a block to help set up the Badgers' second score. Gordon found an opening after the block and broke two tackles during a 65-yard dash down the sideline.

Stave's 6-yard scoring strike to Jared Abbrederis with 5:29 left in the first quarter gave the Badgers a 14-0 lead.

Stave, a sophomore, also hit Brian Wozniak on a 6-yard scoring pass with 19 seconds left in the first half, giving Wisconsin a 28-0 lead. Stave completed 24 of 28 passes for 219 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Stave didn't linger on the mistake too long, completing 13 straight passes after the pick.

White's 2-yard TD run in the third quarter put the Badgers up 34-0 (the kick failed), and Clement took over in the fourth quarter, scoring from a yard out and then galloping 75 yards for the final touchdown.

Despite the lopsided results, Stave said he's confident with his game management skills. Stave has recorded eight starts in his career, including the first of the season last week. Prior to that, he hadn't played since sustaining a left shoulder injury last October against Michigan State.

"These are two teams we prepared for hard the last two weeks and we wanted to run what we wanted to run," he said, "and that starts with the run game and that starts up front.

"When the offensive line is moving the defensive line and opening holes like they were, that really makes the offense a whole lot easier to run and a whole lot easier to manage."

Tennessee Tech, which failed to get across the 50-yard line in the first half and did so just once in the second, has a 0-29 record against Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Tech coach Watson Brown said he was impressed with Wisconsin's defensive prowess.

"I thought the difference was just the dominance up front," said Brown, whose offense managed 113 yards. "That was the most we've been dominated at the line of scrimmage, I think, on both sides.

"I think Wisconsin is really good up front on both sides. I'm talking about front seven on defense; those linebackers are really good players. Strong kids, really good football sense, got a great knack for the ball and just get off blocks really, really well."

Tennessee Tech quarterback Darian Stone said the Badgers were as strong on defense as the Golden Eagles expected.

"They were everything we thought they were going to be: big, physical, fast," Stone said. "They just play good assignments, play their gaps, don't really make many mistakes. They're just a solid football team both on offense and defense."

The Badgers will get their first real test of the season when they play at Arizona State next Saturday night. The Sun Devils trounced Sacramento State 55-0 in their season opener two days ago.

NOTES: White leads the NCAA in career rushing touchdowns (34). The Badgers are 18-1 when White scores at least one TD. ... The Badgers allowed six first downs, one shy of their a school record. Wisconsin surrendered five against Temple on Sept. 10, 2005. ... The Badgers' offense finished with 606 yards and went over the 500-yard mark for the first time since two games during the 2011 season (621 yards vs. Northern Illinois and 612 vs. South Dakota).
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Basketball
View Comments (0)