Wisconsin Badgers take on Akron Zips in home opener
MADISON — Corey Clement ran for two scores before leaving with an injury, Jazz Peavy had two touchdown catches and No. 10 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.
Bart Houston threw for 231 yards, showing chemistry with Peavy against the porous Zips (1-1). Peavy finished with seven catches for 100 yards.
Wisconsin’s defense had a safety, and the secondary accounted for two second-quarter turnovers. The Badgers led 30-10 at halftime.
Clement’s injury was one of the only blemishes for Wisconsin. The senior rushed for 111 yards before departing with a left leg injury suffered on the last of his 21 carries, late in the second.
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.
WISCONSIN: Trainers appeared to be working on Clement’s lower left leg and ankle. He tested it on the sideline but never returned. Then again, the Badgers were well on their way to a victory by then.
Otherwise, the Badgers followed through on their collective promise to build on the momentum of the win over LSU. 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.
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.