Wisconsin Backs Running to Improve

Junior tailback Dare Ogunbowale had a solid first start for the University of Wisconsin. With tailback Corey Clement likely to sit tomorrow, running back coach John Settle is helping Ogunbowale to have an even bigger day.

MADISON - The stat book said redshirt junior tailback Dare Ogunbowale had a pretty solid first start for the University of Wisconsin. Filling in for the injured Corey Clement last weekend, Ogunbowale rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt, and scoring a 35-yard touchdown in the third quarter of UW’s decisive 58-0 victory.

But after popping on the film, running back coach John Settle said the day could have been even better had Ogunbowale had a little more patience.

“We had several teaching moments, and that’s the best thing about film,” said Settle. “I can tell him right away that he missed this or made a mistakes there. Him getting home Saturday night and watching the game on his iPad, we can really get a picture and put things together while it’s still fresh.”

The tailbacks are a work in progress without Clement, who will likely sit for the second straight week when No.24 Wisconsin (1-1) takes on Troy (1-1) tomorrow at Camp Randall (2:30 p.m., Big Ten Network).

Take Clement out of the running back rotation, Ogunbowale is the only player to have had a collegiate carry prior to this season, and he’s only been playing tailback since being switched from defensive back last September.

It’s part of the reason why Settle is working with the junior on letting the play develop and hitting the right gaps, a quickness to hit the hole that Settle estimates cost him around 30 rushing yards last weekend.

“There were a couple of runs where it would have got interesting had he stayed in the ‘A’ gap on a power play or cuts off the right pull block on a zone play,” said Settle. “He did a heck of a job continuing to stay with it and get better with each quarter, each rep.”

It’s no secret Wisconsin’s offensive line is a work in progress, a process that will continue on Saturday with offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph rotating Micah Kapoi in at right guard and shifting Walker Williams to right tackle in place of Hayden Biegel.

After being limited to 40 yards against Alabama’s talented front seven and 188 yards against Miami University’s experienced front four, the Badgers will face a Trojans’ defense that has given up 514 total rushing yards in two games.

“There were times where we were on people (on the line) but not fully engaged, and there were times when it was blocked, it was clean and we might have been too fast because we didn’t trust something,” said Settle. “It’s a combination of both. As the guys continue to run behind them and get used to running the plays full speed against good competition, we’ll continue to improve in time for Big Ten play.”

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