Clay leads Wisconsin over Hawaii in 51-10 win
The blowout also crushed Hawaii's hopes of returning to its hometown bowl against the Warriors' former coach.
Behind Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay, Wisconsin (9-3) was able to run over Hawaii. Clay rushed for 172 yards and scored three touchdowns, strengthening the Badgers' argument for an invite to the Outback Bowl.
Clay finished the regular season with 1,416 yards and 16 touchdowns, and he was a big reason Wisconsin led the Big Ten with 32.8 points per game.
"We came here with one goal, and that was running the ball, and we did that," Clay said. "Everybody stepped up big, from the offensive line to the tight ends to the receivers. They worked for me so I wanted to work for them."
Hawaii (6-7) had its four-game winning streak end and fell one victory short of a bid to the Hawaii Bowl. The Warriors had hoped to face former coach June Jones and SMU.
"They just out-physicaled us," Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said. "They get a lot of mass at a certain point, and we just couldn't handle it."
Wisconsin is probably headed to Florida for an appearance in the Outback Bowl or Champs Sports Bowl.
"Wherever we are going, whoever we are playing, I know this: We will prepare, we will work and we'll put ourselves in a position to have success," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said.
Hawaii's streaky season is over. SMU has already accepted an invitation to the Hawaii Bowl for its first bowl appearance in 25 years after the school received the NCAA's death penalty for repeated rules violations. The 7-5 Mustangs will likely face 8-4 Nevada.
Hawaii's lone touchdown came on a 2-yard pass from Bryant Moniz to Javonte Taylor in the fourth quarter. Moniz was 15 for 34 for 197 yards and a touchdown but had two interceptions.
Clay's touchdowns came on runs of 15, 3 and 2 yards. His longest run was 34 yards in the second quarter, setting himself up to score the Badgers' fourth touchdown as they entered the half with a 27-3 lead.
The Badgers' rushing attack was also powered by Montee Ball, who had 78 yards and a touchdown, and David Gilreath, 13 yards and a touchdown. Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien was 16 for 20 for 253 yards.
Hawaii's offense was held to 214 total yards, including only 17 rushing yards. The Warriors' previous low this season was 301 yards against Louisiana Tech.
Greg Salas fell short of becoming Hawaii's single-season leader in receptions and receiving yards. He needed six catches and 155 yards to set those school records but instead caught three passes for 31 yards.