Game Recap: UW Runs All Over the Rebels

While the offense had its hiccups, No.12 Wisconsin relied on its bread and butter to earn victory number one. Junior running back John Clay and sophomore running back Montee Ball each score twice while the defense boggs down UNLV, giving the Badgers a 41-21 season-opening victory.

LAS VEGAS -Although the University of Wisconsin committed quite a few sins in its season opener, the defense and the running game provided enough of a cushion to leave the desert with victory number one.

Wisconsin running backs Montee Ball and John Clay each found the endzone twice and UW's defense scored a key third-quarter touchdown to help No.12 Wisconsin defeat UNLV, 41-21, Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Wisconsin (1-0) amassed over 470 yards of total offense, getting 123 yards from Clay and another 78 yards from Ball. Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien was an efficieny 14-of-19 passing for 197 yards.

When the game was in reach, UW's defense was outstanding, limiting UNLV (0-1) to just 106 yards of total offese through three quarters.

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Wisconsin (1-0) at UNLV (0-1)

First Half

First Quarter

7-0 Wisconsin

14 plays, 80 yards, 7:37 TOP, 7:23 left

John Clay 5-yard run (Philip Welch kick)

Key Play: With UNLV having a paltry rush defense, UW wasted no time in establish its ground game. Although it wasn't the 80-yard play that kicked off 2009, Clay's 18-yard rush through the left side of the line set the tone for the drive.

14-0 Wisconsin

3 plays, 46 yards, 1:13 TOP, 4:32 left

Montee Ball 1-yard run (Philip Welch kick)

Key Play: After running wild on the first drive, it was time for Scott Tolzien to flex his muscles. With a short punt giving UW the ball on the Rebels 47, Tolzien hit David Gilreath on a 45-yard inside slant route, giving UW the ball at the 2.

14-7 Wisconsin

1 play, 19 yards, 1:56 left

Will Chandler 19-yard interception return (Nolan Kohorst kick)

Key Play: In UW's two October losses, interceptions were the biggest cause. Tolzien can attest to that, which is why he was so frustrated walking off the field after Chandler's first career interception. Tolzien was looking for a pass in the flat to his wide receiver, but didn't see Chandler, who went untouched into the end zone.

Second Quarter

17-7 Wisconsin

14 plays, 77 yards, 6:38 TOP, 10:13 left

FG Philip Welch 20

Key Play: Inside the 10-yard line, UW got a little too cute with its play calls. A missed assignment on a naked bootleg caused Tolzien to be handcuffed. On third-and-five, UW elected to run and was stuffed, forcing the attempt.

17-14 Wisconsin

1 play, 16 yards, :05 TOP, 1:08 left

Phillip Payne 16-yard pass from Mike Clausen (Nolan Kohorst kick)

Key Play: Tolzien stood long into the pocket, absorbed the hit and got the ball to Nick Toon. As soon as Toon got inside the 10, he was stripped, allowing Chandler to race 82 yards downfield to get deep into UW territory.

Second Half

Third Quarter

24-14 Wisconsin

1 play, 20 yards, 13:35 left

Aaron Henry 20-yard fumble return (Philip Welch kick)

Key Play: On a pass to the flat, J.J. Watt chased down running back Michael Johnson, getting his hands on the ball and causing to bounce on the turf. Aaron Henry was right there to clean up the mess, racing for the score.

27-14 Wisconsin

7 plays, 38 yards, 3:31 TOP, 8:25 left

FG Philip Welch 33

Key Play: With the ball near midfield, Clay made sure to get the Badgers into scoring territory, ripping off a 17-yard and 13-yard run to help UW after its drive stalled.

34-14 Wisconsin

4 plays, 58 yards, 1:38 TOP, 6:22 left

John Clay 16-yard run (Phillip Welch kick)

Key Play: Wisconsin's senior lineman made that cutback lane so easy for Clay to find. With John Moffitt clearing out his assignement, Clay cut back to the left and had a huge gap that allowed him to get his second score.

41-14 Wisconsin

6 plays, 78 yards, 3:08 TOP, 1:39 left

Montee Ball 16-yard run (Phillip Welch kick)

Key Play: Ball's touchdown drew the celebration, Lance Kendricks' block on a Clay's 19-yard run that drew the oohs from the crowd. Pulling from the left side of the line, Kendricks came around the end and flattened the linebacker, opening the way for a big gain.

Fourth Quarter

41-21 Wisconsin

8 plays, 80 yards, 3:51 TOP, 12:42 left

Irshad Stolden 9-yard catch from Omar Clayton (N. Kohorst kick)

Key Play: With Clayton giving his first real chance to impress UNLV, the quarterback started the series with a 35-yard pass play and marched right through the UW defense.

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