Clement scores twice, No. 10 Wisconsin stuffs Akron 54-10
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Corey Clement is proving he can carry a full workload for No. 10 Wisconsin.
The passing game is starting to round into form, too, which might turn into a key development if Clement's ankle injury becomes a nagging issue.
Clement ran for two scores before rolling his left ankle on his last carry, and Wisconsin stuffed Akron's spread offense in a 54-10 win on Saturday.
The Badgers (2-0) didn't slack off in their 2016 debut at Camp Randall Stadium, a week after outmuscling SEC power LSU 16-14 in the season opener.
''We want to do that every week no matter (where) we're ranked,'' Clement said. ''We have to approach every game as if we're not in the rankings at all.''
Bart Houston was 15 of 22 for 231 yards, showing chemistry with Jazz Peavy against the porous Zips (1-1). Peavy finished with seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Wisconsin had 294 yards rushing and 292 yards through the air. It was its first game with more than 290 in each category since at least 1996.
On defense, Wisconsin had a safety, and the secondary accounted for two second-quarter turnovers. The Badgers led 30-10 at halftime.
''We had a plan and it would have taken a few other things for us being able to do,'' Akron coach Terry Bowden said. ''But they were dominant enough in the trenches on both sides of the ball and we couldn't quite get it done.
Clement's injury was one of the only blemishes for Wisconsin. The senior rushed for 111 yards on 21 carries before departing late in the second quarter.
Clement said he could have returned if he was needed.
''We were able to be a little overprotective maybe,'' Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said.
Akron's only touchdown came on JoJo Natson's 55-yard punt return in the second.
AKRON: The Zips had a few moments, dictating tempo for parts of a couple drives in the second quarter with their fast-paced offense. But any momentum was negated by mistakes. Most notably, Akron drove from its own 11 to the 30 on four straight rushes by Warren Ball before the running back fumbled on third-and-2 on what would have been a 38-yard gain. Wisconsin scored nine plays later to go up 23-0.
At best, it was a learning experience against the bigger, quicker Badgers. With 15 new starters this season, Akron hopes to contend in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference.
''Our offense couldn't keep their offense off the field and our defense couldn't keep them off the field,'' Bowden said.
WISCONSIN: Clement tested his ankle on the sideline after getting it wrapped, but never returned. Then again, the Badgers were well on their way to a victory by then.
''It really didn't feel like 21 carries at all,'' Clement said. ''I felt like I could have gone for 41 if I had played the whole game.''
Otherwise, the Badgers followed through on their collective promise to build on the momentum of the win over LSU at Lambeau Field. Houston, making his second career start, shook off a couple questionable throws for near picks to show off his strong arm. Backups got valuable playing time late in the game, including freshman Bradrick Shaw. The running back had nine carries for 74 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown run.
Wisconsin could move up in the next AP Top 25 poll on Sunday with No. 9 Georgia escaping with a 26-24 victory over Nicholls State. Chryst's team looked prepared and routed its mid-major opponent, as is usually expected for a Big Ten team.
Natson's punt return for a score, the first for Akron since 2004, was one of the Zips' few bright spots.
''It gave us a little momentum but it was a tough game for our offense and defense,'' Natson said.
''I think anybody in the secondary would tell you that our play is a product of the great front seven we have ... We really just kind of reap the benefits.'' - Wisconsin safety Leo Musso, who had an interception against Akron.
Akron: The Zips stay on the road to face Marshall on Sept. 17.
Wisconsin: The Badgers look to extend their home winning streak against non-conference foes to 37 when they host Georgia State on Sept. 17.
Online: AP College Football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org/
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