- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - No. 22 Wisconsin now has more certainty with its running game with Big Ten play nearing.

Losing starting tailback Corey Clement for the next four to six weeks - and possibly for the rest of the season - because of sports hernia surgery is a blow for the Badgers.

Now it’s time for Clement to focus on his unofficial role as assistant coach to keep his replacements prepared, starting with Saturday night’s game against Hawaii.

“I’m still here for the guys … just being (their) third eye basically,” said Clement, who missed the last two games and played sparingly in the season-opening loss to Alabama.

Dare Ogunbowale, who converted from defensive back last season, took over as the starter, backed up by redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal. They’ve rushed for a combined 339 yards and four touchdowns this year.

The good news for Wisconsin (2-1) is that it hasn’t just been relying on its rushing attack.

Quarterback Joel Stave is leading a diverse and efficient passing game instituted by coach Paul Chryst is in his first season back in Madison. The defense hasn’t given up a touchdown since the fourth quarter of the loss to Alabama.

Rainbow Warriors coach Norm Chow said his team will not back down. They arrived in Wisconsin on Thursday to start acclimating to the five-hour time difference, even stopping for Chicago deep dish pizza on the way to the Madison area.

Hawaii (2-1) lost 38-0 to top-ranked Ohio State two weeks ago, though Chow’s team stuck around until the Buckeyes pulled away in the fourth quarter.

“We’re not going to be intimidated. We’re going to go out and play a very physical football team, probably more physical than Ohio State,” Chow said.

Some other things to watch in the teams’ first meeting since Wisconsin beat Hawaii 51-10 in 2009:

BIG GAME RECALL: Chow is a veteran whose experience coaching in big venues also dates back to stints as an assistant at BYU, Southern California and with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Max Wittek played at USC before transferring to Hawaii.

After hanging tough at the Horseshoe, Hawaii probably won’t be intimidated by the crowd at a Camp Randall Stadium night game.

POISED STAVE: Wisconsin’s senior quarterback looks poised working with Chryst in his first year in Madison as the head coach. It’s exactly the kind of start that the Badgers needed from Stave with the ground game off to an inconsistent start.

Inside the opponents’ 40, Stave is 19 of 27 for 227 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

BIG PLAYS: Hawaii beat FCS school UC Davis 47-27 last week thanks in part to big plays. Paul Harris’ 95-yard touchdown run was the long run for a score in school history. Receivers Devan Stubblefield and Marcus Kemp each had over 100 yards receiving, the first time that two Rainbow Warriors went over that mark in the same game since 2010.

The competition will be stiffer in Madison. The secondary is one of Wisconsin’s strengths, with hard-hitting safety Michael Caputo leading the way.

FAMILIAR FACES: The Badgers’ defensive backfield should also benefit from the experience that position coach Daronte’ Jones had last year as the secondary coach at Hawaii under Chow.

On offense, right guard Micah Kapoi, who got his first start last week, is a native of Hawaii.

ON THE OUTSIDE: The Badgers’ other defensive strength is at outside linebacker, where Joe Schobert and Vince Biegel have been forces off the edge. Schobert leads the Big Ten with 7 1/2 tackles for losses.

Wittek is considered a stand-up passer in the pocket, so Schobert and Biegel might be looking for a big night in the pass rush.

“One thing that me and Joe and the defensive line and front seven are going to take it upon ourselves is to get after him, rattle him up,” Biegel said.


This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of the last name of Wisconsin right guard’s last name to ‘Kapoi’ instead of ‘Kopoi.’



AP College Football site: https://collegefootball.ap.org/


Follow Genaro Armas at https://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide