Alec Ingold, Dare Ogunbowale carry Wisconsin's run game past Nebraska

Already down Corey Clement, Wisconsin tailbacks Alec Ingold and Dare Ogunbowale helped carry the load after Taiwan Deal left early with an injury.

LINCOLN, Neb. – Alec Ingold is one of the many Wisconsin players who embrace the program’s “next man in” philosophy.

Through the first six weeks of the season, it seems the true freshman is embracing to the fullest.

He was at it again in Wisconsin’s Big Ten road opener, moving up to the backup tailback spot in the Badgers’ come-from-behind 23-21 victory over Nebraska at Memorial Stadium.

With redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal knocked out of the game, the second UW tailback to be shelved this season next to Corey Clement, junior Dare Ogunbowale became the workhorse and Ingold the reserve.

“I was supposed to be ready to help take the load off them,” said Ingold. “Once (Deal got injured), I was going to get a little more work, and I just had to be ready.”

Deal, the team’s leading rusher at 349 yards and 69.8 yards per game, lasted only four carries before his right ankle was rolled on. Without Deal, UW managed only 45 rushing yards on 13 first-half carries.

It took time to get going, but the Badgers’ running game eventually wore down Nebraska’s front. UW rushed for 89 of its 147 rushing yards in the final 15 minutes, including runs of 31 and 15 yards by Ogunbowale – the longest since the Hawaii game - and the first career touchdown by Ingold.

Ingold’s 1-yard plunge gave UW a 17-14 leads with 10:08 remaining in the game.

“It was a really cool experience,” said Ingold. “I really couldn’t put it into words. A year ago today, I wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years.”

A high school quarterback at Green Bay (WI) Bay Port, Ingold was a standout in fall camp at inside linebacker with his ability to read plays and create turnovers. But with other players stepping up at inside linebacker and depth being thinned at tailback, UW moved him to offense.

The coaching staff likes him to replace Derek Watt at fullback, but Ingold continues to take reps at tailback.

“I just have to trust the coaches and trust the process,” said Ingold. “They have their plan, and I’ll just try to fit into it as best as possible. Down the road for sure it’ll help me out.”

Other than the touchdown, Ingold’s final line of eight carries for 14 yards don’t seem that impactful but were vital in helping Ogunbowale. Finishing with a career-high 18 carries, Ogunbowale finished with a career-high 117 yards. His 83 fourth-quarter yards alone were more than he rushed for in all but three of his 27 career games.

"I think that anytime a guy makes plays, there's a lot of guys working for him,” said head coach Paul Chryst. “I think (Ogunbowale) was seeing things and running with a purpose but there's a lot of guys working in front of him. I think that's what it was. I think he had some good runs and yards after contact, and I thought guys were throwing it up in there."

After finishing with 86 rushing yards in last week's loss to Iowa, UW showed that its running game still has some pop.

“We had some hard-fought yards, a couple plays that were opening up later in the game,” said Ingold. “It was big to get Dare out running, just get that going.”

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