Badgering the Conference

After Wisconsin dominated the Gophers on Saturday, two Badgers reaped the benefits Sunday, as sophomore running back John Clay and senior defensive end O'Brien Schofield were named Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively.

MADISON - Although the No.25 Wisconsin Badgers have put Saturday's 31-28 border-battle victory over Minnesota behind them in preparation for its road match-up against No.9/8 Ohio State, two Badgers can enjoy the fruits of their labor a little longer.

Sophomore running back John Clay and senior defensive end O'Brien Schofield were each named Big Ten Players of the Week for their performances in the Wisconsin win, the Big Ten announced Sunday night. Clay earned offensive honors after running for a career-high 184 yards and three touchdowns while Schofield won for the defensive side of the ball after recording six tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.

Clay becomes the second Badger in as many weeks to win the award, following junior quarterback Scott Tolzien last week, while Schofield becomes the first defensive player to win the award since defensive tackles Mike Newkirk did it on Nov. 17, 2008.

Additionally, this is just the second time in school history that UW has earned both the offensive and defensive player of the week honors without sharing the award during a full conference schedule. The only other time was on Sept. 30, 1995 when quarterback Darrell Bevell was the offensive POW and linebacker Daryl Carter was the defensive POW. Wisconsin swept the awards on both Nov. 28, 2005 and Aug. 27, 2001 but the Badgers were the only conference team to play those weeks.

Clay currently leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the country in rushing, averaging 116.4 yards per game. His seven touchdowns lead the conference and are tied for 12th in the NCAA. Against Minnesota, 26 of his 32 carries came in the second half as did 159 of his yards.

Schofield leads the Big Ten in both sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (11.0) and is tied for the NCAA lead in TFLs. His forced fumble on Minnesota's final play ensured that the Badgers would win the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe for a sixth consecutive season.


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