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Wisconsin-Oregon State Notebook: Wilson, Toon open up running game

Russell Wilson's strike to Nick Toon for a second-quarter touchdown helped the running game get going.
Russell Wilson's strike to Nick Toon for a second-quarter touchdown helped the running game get going.

MADISON, Wis. -- If there was ever a stat that would shock Wisconsin Badgers fans, it might be this:

After the first quarter of UW's 35-0 win over Oregon State Saturday, the Badgers only had three rushing yards.


To be fair, a nine-yard sack of quarterback Russell Wilson figured into that total, but James White only had 14 yards on six carries in the first quarter and Montee Ball had -2 after three carries.

The point is, in a very rare occurrence at Camp Randall Stadium, the running game wasn't working.

"That was just a compliment to their defense," right tackle Josh Oglesby said. "They had a good scheme set up to stop our rushing attack."

Enter Russell Wilson and Nick Toon.

Leading 7-0 early in the second quarter, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst called six passes on an eight-play 51-yard touchdown drive that ended with Wilson connecting with Nick Toon for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

From there, the running backs didn't skip a beat.

"We have a great offensive coordinator. He saw a few things, made a few changes, kept the ball in the air to spread the defense out and it worked," Ball said.

Ball finished the game with 118 yards on 18 carries (6.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. White added 54 yards on 17 carries.

Toon finished the game with seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Wilson was 17-of-21 for 189 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback has zero interceptions and only seven incompletions in the first two games of the season.

What Was That?

Oregon State punter Johnny Hekker left all 80,337 fans in attendance shaking their heads in the first quarter when one of his punts went for a net yardage of negative four.

And no, it wasn't blocked.

That said, Bret Bielema gave all the credit to senior walk-on linebacker Andrew Lukasko.

"They did that over-shift punt. They kind of do it rugby and I took Andrew Lukasko and I put him in at that rush spot just because I knew he would go 100 miles an hour up the field and set the edge. He really flashed in the punter's face and got that shanked punt."

Bielema said he noticed the unique punt formation on film and made the move to put Lukasko in there during walk-throughs on Friday.

It paid off as the Badgers got the ball the Oregon State 14-yard line and two plays later, Wilson connected with tight end Jacob Pedersen for a 17-yard touchdown to give the Badgers an early 7-0 lead.

Injury Report

Before the game even started, the Badgers were dealt a blow as starting outside linebacker Kevin Claxton was held out because of a broken left hand. Bielema said Claxton had a screw put in early in the week and said he could be involved next week against NIU.

Cornerback Devin Smith had a great start to the game, but then went out with a left foot injury. He returned to the sideline during the game with crutches and appeared to have a cast or a boot on it, but Bielema said x-rays were negative.

Defensive end Pat Muldoon dislocated his right elbow during the game, but there's no word on how much time he will miss.