He also has downplayed the pain that still remains after offseason surgery on both ankles. Clay said he has shooting pain sometimes when he’s hit low and that the ankles throb while he’s on the sideline. Still, he refused to say he was any less than 95 percent healthy.
“When I get back out there, all the adrenaline going, the pain goes away,” he said.
The 248-pound Clay certainly has motivation against Buckeyes, who have beaten the Badgers the last two years and held him to 59 yards in 2008 and 69 yards last year in the process. Clay has 36 career rushing touchdowns, but none against Ohio State.
“He’s a big back, a big physical runner, but we’re a physical defense,” Buckeyes cornerback Devon Torrence said. “I’m just going to go chop him down as soon as he busts through the hole. I’m not going to be scared or anything. This is football and this is why we play it, to be physical and have fun.”
Wisconsin says it plans to have fun, too. The running backs say they won’t let the hype of hosting No. 1 for the first time in 13 years get in the way of executing their plan.
“This is why you come to the Big Ten. You want to compete against the best teams,” White said. “Ohio State is the best team in the nation right now. That’s what you go out there and live for. You go out there, play the physical game the way it’s supposed to be played and hopefully come out with a win.”
(This version CORRECTS grammar error in 16th paragraph.)