Wisconsin running back Corey Clement wasn’t listed on the Badgers’ initial injury report released on Monday, but he was listed as questionable on Thursday heading into the Badgers’ matchup against Georgia State this weekend.
Clement injured his left ankle in the second quarter of Wisconsin’s 54-10 victory over Akron last Saturday and did not return to the game in the second half.
"If guys can play, we’re going to play them," head coach Paul Chryst said on Thursday before practice. "I think they need to play, and they work too hard for these opportunities to not play, but if a guy can’t go, then I feel with the ones at that position. I think we’ve had a good week of practice at the running back spot with Taiwan [Deal] and Dare [Ogunbowale] and Bradrick [Shaw]."
If Clement is ruled out of the game, expect Deal and Ogunbowale to get a large chunk of carries. Both have combined for 123 yards on 26 carries through two games. Shaw ran for 74 yards on nine attempts last Saturday, including a 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
With junior cornerback Natrell Jamerson out four-to-six weeks with a left leg injury, Clement was listed as the No. 1 kickoff returner. Now, it appears Wisconsin is down to its third option in that special teams unit with true freshman wide receiver A.J. Taylor.
"Right now, A.J. looks to be the first one that we’d go with," Chryst said.
Here are some other highlights from Chryst’s 10-minute meeting with the media:
- On redshirt junior defensive end Alec James: "I was here when he first arrived on campus because he was a big star of our youth camp. He would come over and was three feet taller than everyone else. I may have been here when he first came to campus."
- What do you remember about Alec in youth camps? "Big."
- On defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield: "Always enjoyed being around him when he was a player and always respected the way he worked and was with people."
- More on Breckterfield: "When I had the opportunity at Pitt, I had a chance to work with him day in and day out and see what he did with he and [Los Angeles Rams two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Donald] together. Nokes did not make Aaron Donald, but Nokes helped Aaron Donald significantly, and that was fun to see. I’ve been just as excited and appreciative of what he’s done [here]. He’s got a good room of guys to work with."
- On momentum carrying over from one week to the next: "That’s the great thing about sports, is nothing’s guaranteed. That’s why I think you focus on the things that you can control. I don’t even believe anymore that there are upsets. There are games. You play games, and the team that’s best that day on the field, in the stadium—the team that finds a way to score one more point than their opponent, they win. I think you can build on things through the course of the year and individually on that, but that’s the beauty of it. You have to go out and get the opportunity to do it every day. Then once a week, you play. Nothing’s for certain, that’s why you play the game."