Badgers optimistic Clement will return vs Illinois - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Badgers optimistic Clement will return vs Illinois

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Madison, WI (WXOW) - -

The Wisconsin Badgers run game could get a big boost this week against Illinois.

After having sports hernia surgery just three weeks ago, running back Corey Clement is close to joining the Badgers on the playing field.

Clement led the team onto the field at Camp Randall stadium last Saturday against Purdue. He wasn't ruled out of the game, but did not see any snaps. That could very likely change this week.

"He's ahead of what people thought and he was excited to be back in uniform," head coach Paul Chryst said. "There's still no guarantees, we just got to keep taking it day-by-day."

Clement was injured in the season-opening loss to the University of Alabama after rushing for 16 yards on eight carries. He rushed for 949 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2014 season.

"He's one of the better players that I've seen," redshirt junior running back Dare Ogunbowale said. "He's a very special player and he's going to help us win games."

The Badgers run game has suffered without its feature back, ranking 12th in rushing yard per game in the Big Ten Conference through seven games. Wisconsin ranks sixth in rushing touchdowns (13), eighth in rushing attempts (260) and 11th in yards gained (1,082) this season.

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