John Clay was frustrated after he lost a fumble in the first quarter Saturday. He did a good job making up for it.
After a 27-yard run on Wisconsin’s game-tying drive, Clay took three straight carries in overtime, the last of which scored the touchdown that allowed Philip Welch to kick the game-winning extra point.
“They gave me the nod to finish the game off, and that’s what I did,” Clay said.
“They just kept feeding me the rock and they knew I was going to get positive yards.”
Clay was put in the game to start the overtime after P.J. Hill suffered an injury on his two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
“I woulda went in,” Hill said, “but I didn’t want to put my team in a tough situation.”
With Clay in the game, the Badgers kept the ball on the ground.
“What we wanted to do was play basic power football,” Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said, “and John, for those runs, was probably a better option at that time for us.”
In the first quarter, Clay had a lost a fumble on the Badgers’ opening possession that led to a Mustang score.
“I had to make up for that fumble,” Clay said, “so every opportunity I got a made a positive out of it.”
“They told me they was going to need me, so I just stepped up and did my job.”
Despite the injury, Hill was fine watching Clay finish off the game.
“He was able to make plays when it was time to make plays,” Hill said. “It was a real crucial situation, and he made something out of it.”
Clay finished the game with 107 yards and two touchdowns while Hill finished with 61 yards and a pair of scores.
Toon scores first touchdown
It may have been unconventional, but Badger wide receiver Nick Toon scored his first career touchdown late in the first half.
Toon had a ball thrown his way at the Mustang goal line, but the ball was knocked high in the air after two Cal Poly defenders converged on him. The freshman stayed with the ball and caught it on the rebound in the end zone.
“It wasn’t the prettiest thing, but it feels good to get the first one, and hopefully there are many more to come,” Toon said. “I think it hit the defensive backs helmet — I tried to jump up and grab it and it bounced in the air and I tried to concentrate on it and come down on it.”
Bielema was impressed with the play.
“Tremendous concentration by Nick Toon to close out the half there when the ball got deflected and he stayed with it and ended up with a touchdown,” Bielema said.
Toon finished the game with two receptions for 40 yards and the touchdown. He did miss on a fourth-down catch in the fourth quarter that gave Cal Poly the ball in good field position.
“I should’ve had it — it was kind of a weird ball,” Toon said. “I should’ve caught it.”
Bowl location still up in the air
With the win, the Badgers are now 7-5 on the season, but the team isn’t sure yet which bowl game it will end up receiving an invitation from to close out the season.
Bielema said he didn’t yet have information on where the team would be heading.
“I told the guys in the locker room, ‘All I know is we won the football game, and that’s definitely not going to hurt us,’” he said.