Clay runs for 2 TDs, No. 11 Wisconsin wins easily

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Saturday, September 11, 2010
— John Clay ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 11 Wisconsin beat San Jose State 27-14 on Saturday in a game overshadowed by the sight of teammate David Gilreath being taken off the field on a stretcher.

It was Clay's eighth straight 100-yard rushing game as the Badgers won their 15th straight home opener and improved to 13-0 in nonconference regular-season games under coach Bret Bielema.

Wisconsin (2-0) didn't look much sharper than in its season-opening win at UNLV, but the sloppy performance wasn't nearly as concerning as the injury to Gilreath.

The senior took a punt in the third quarter and was hit almost immediately by Peyton Thompson, who lifted Gilreath up slightly. As Gilreath was being driven back, Dominique Hunsucker came in from behind, appearing to make incidental helmet-to-helmet contact.

Gilreath never appeared to move as medical trainers and staff surrounded him and a woman wearing the No. 85 T-shirt came down from the stands spoke with Bielema as they watched from a few yards behind. Gilreath was down for nearly 10 minutes before he was removed on a stretcher, and the school said he had a concussion but could not provide any other details.

Clay, the reigning Big Ten offensive player of the year, has 260 yards and four touchdowns so far this season. Scott Tolzien was 15 of 22 for 191 yards with a touchdown, interception and three fumbles against the Spartans.

San Jose State (0-2) had a lot more success against the Badgers than in last week's 48-3 loss to No. 1 Alabama. Jordan La Secla went 20 of 26 for 228 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Wisconsin built a 17-0 lead before Gilreath's injury, but could've been up at least 31-0 if it weren't for two costly mistakes.

While there were hints that changes might be made on the offensive line, the starters remained the same five that began against the Rebels, and Wisconsin took the opening possession 77 yards in 10 plays, capped by Clay's 1-yard TD run.

But freshman James White fumbled through the end zone on Wisconsin's next possession for a touchback and in the second quarter, Tolzien and center Peter Konz bumbled a snap on fourth and 1 at the Spartans 4 and failed to convert.

Tolzien made amends before the half with a play-action pass on third and 2 from the Spartans 14 to Lance Kendricks for an easy touchdown. Philip Welch hit a 46-yard field goal to end the first half and added another from 37 to make it 20-0 on the possession after Gilreath's injury.

The Spartans' first touchdown this season came on a terrific effort by Chandler Jones, who finished with 113 yards on eight catches.

Jones grabbed a short pass from La Secla and made four Wisconsin defenders miss, finishing the final 10 yards untouched after Niles Brinkley's desperate dive failed. After Clay scored his second touchdown from a yard out, La Secla led the Spartans to another touchdown with 5:45 left with a 12-yard TD pass to Noel Grigsby that made it 27-14.

San Jose State, which netted more than $1 million from the guaranteed games at Alabama and Wisconsin, will have traveled more than 7,000 miles over the last eight days and may have lost a key contributor for an extended period.

Starting senior center Robbie Reed hurt his right leg in the first half and was on the sideline on crutches and in an immobilizing knee brace for the second.

Last updated: 3:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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