Game Recap: Another Struggle Goes UW's Way

Junior running back John Clay went over 100 yards for the ninth straight game, senior tight end Lance Kendricks has his best game of the season and the Wisconsin defense does just enough to help the 11th-ranked Badgers to their 27th-straight regular season non-conference victory, beating Arizona State, 20-19, Saturday.

MADISON – The problems continue for the University of Wisconsin football team and still somehow, the Badgers find a way to survive the fight.

Although senior tight end Lance Kendricks and junior running back John Clay each registered 100 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, Jay Valai's blocked extra point attempt in the final minutes clinched another ugly UW victory, beating Arizona State, 20-19, in front of 81, 332 in Camp Randall.

The UW offense still spurted and left plenty of points on the board, the special teams allowed two kick returners to amass over 120 return yards and the defense allowed its first 100-yard rusher since last September.

Chalk this one up in the gritty category for Wisconsin (3-0). The Badgers started the game without two of their top receivers in Nick Toon and David Gilreath and lost sophomore linebacker Chris Borland on the opening series. The loss of Borland allowed ASU to rack up over 380 yards of total offense, but the UW offense still managed to gain over 400 yards for the third straight game, doing just enough to earn the victory.

Tolzien was 19-of-25 for 246 yards and one touchdowns in the victory, his best game of the season.

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Insider Stories from Badger Nation

One Play Made All the Difference for Wisconsin

Lance Kendricks Draws a Dominant Picture

Notes: Special Teams, Borland and Bielema Giving Props

Free Stories from Fox Sports Wisconsin

Ironic Special Teams Make the Difference

Michael Bleach and Benjamin Worgull Break Down the Win

Badger Nation Player of the Game: Lance Kendricks

Audio from Badger Nation

Audio: Bret Bielema

Audio: Jay Valai

Audio: Gabe Carimi

Audio: Shelton Johnson

Audio: John Clay

Audio: Scott Tolzien

Audio: Chris Borland

Arizona State (2-1) vs. No. 11 Wisconsin (3-0)

First Half

First Quarter

3-0 Wisconsin

6 plays, 48 yards, 3:09 TOP, :40 left

FG Philip Welch 49

Key Play:After a tough fumble last week, James White is back running with confidence, making a beautiful spin move to avoid a defender, kept his balance and run down the sidelines for a 15-yard gain.

7-3 Arizona State

Omar Bolden 97-yard kickoff return (Thomas Weber kick)

Key Play:If there are three certainties in life, it would be death, taxes and Wisconsin having poor special teams. Omar Bolden carved right through the kickoff return unit, going untouched. The best chance to stop him, Philip Welch, which is never a good sign.

Second Quarter

10-3 Arizona State

12 plays, 82 yards, 5:08 TOP, 9:22 left

FG Weber 25

Key Play:Much like Wisconsin, Arizona State let easy points escape them in the red zone. After Threet got out what looked to be a sure sack against Patrick Butrym, Threet delivered what looked to be a sure TD pass to Bell. Bell bobbled the pass slightly and after Aaron Henry pushed him over, the ball landed on the turf.

10-6 Arizona State

7 plays, 49 yards, 3:14 TOP, 6:01 left

FG Welch 44

Key Play: On third-and-two in its own territory, a play-action pass was a perfect sell for UW. Arizona State collapsed into the middle and nobody accounted for Lance Kendricks. Tolzien lobbed one over the defense and the catch-and-run went for a 35-yard gain to the ASU 32.

13-10 Wisconsin

11 plays, 71 yards, 3:29 TOP, :10 left

Lance Kendricks 14-yard pass from Tolzien (Welch kick

Key Play: After trying to throw on second-and-two and getting sacked, what does Wisconsin try to do? Run of course. UW handed the ball off to Clay for a nine-yard gain. That apparently was the jump start, as UW's next three plays went 13, 11 and 10 yards, respectively.

Second Half

Third Quarter


10 plays, 58 yards, 3:42 TOP, 11:11 left

FG Weber 38

Key Play: Whether it's the experience, the new system or both, but Steven Threet is a different QB than the last time UW played him. On the opening drive, Threet threw for 61 yards, misfiring on just two passes and faced only one third down.

20-13 Wisconsin

8 plays, 88 yards, 3:32 TOP, 2:48 left

John Clay 19-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: On third-and-one with Ryan Groy blocking out in front, Johnny Heisman made it look so easy. After only having eight carries in the first half, Clay looked fresh as he skirted the secondary and knocked his way into the end zone.

Fourth Quarter

20-19 Wisconsin

9 plays, 77 yards, 3:34 TOP, 4:09 left

Cameron Marshall 2-yard run (kick blocked)

Key Play: Just when Wisconsin was put back on its heels, Jay Valai rises up from behind the line of scrimmage and gets a hand on the extra point attempt. UW is leaking oil, and Valai may have bought the Badgers some more time.

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