No. 7 Wisconsin rolls over Illinois

Genaro C. Armas
Associated Press

Madison, Wis. — Finally, Wisconsin had a breather.

Wisconsin's Bradrick Shaw runs during the second half.

Tested week after week with close games against the Big Ten’s tougher teams, the seventh-ranked Badgers assumed the role of playoff contender in beating up on one of the league’s weaker squads.

Corey Clement ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns, Dare Ogunbowale added 103 yards on seven carries and Wisconsin’s defense intercepted Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr. four times in rolling to a 48-3 win on Saturday.

The Badgers (8-2, 5-2, No. 7 CFP) led by 18 after the first quarter with two scores from Clement, and 31-3 at the half on a homecoming weekend at Camp Randall Stadium.

After playing five top 10 opponents over its first nine games, Wisconsin beat Illinois like it was a non-conference pushover.

“It’s very frustrating when you have to win games by seven or 14, and it kind of gets old,” Clement said. “I would like to get back to this style of football to where we can close out the game.”

George had an awful day a week after helping Illinois rally to beat Michigan State. George was 5 of 16 for 79 yards in the first half against Wisconsin before getting pulled for former starter Wes Lunt.

That didn’t work, either. Illinois (3-7, 2-5) managed just 60 yards and three first downs in the second half.

“I didn’t see much to talk about today. We were dominated by a better team. There was nothing we did that was good out there today,” coach Lovie Smith said.

Safety Leo Musso had two interceptions for the Badgers, including one on a pass that caromed off cornerback Sojourn Shelton’s foot.

“It was planned. … I’ve been watching a lot of Ronaldo highlights, playing FIFA,” said a smiling Shelton, referring to the Portuguese soccer star and the popular video game.

It was that kind of afternoon for Wisconsin.