Now that we move more towards brunch it’s Bloody Mary time. Now in most places that embrace western civilization, you can find places that doctor up Bloody Mary’s. However, Terry’s in Oshkosh is the only place I’ve found that puts tacos on their Bloody Mary. Yes, that’s right, they put mini tacos on the Bloody, along with fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and burger sliders. So Terry’s knows how to doctor up a Bloody Mary, and the Wisconsin staff knows how to doctor up an injured running back. In all the hype over Justin Jackson and Saquon Barkley, it seems to be forgotten that Corey Clement was considered the best back in the B1G at this point last year along with Ezekiel Elliott. So finally healthy, how many yards does Clement run for this year?
Graham: An actually disappointingly pedestrian 1300. Uncertainty at QB, tough schedule...
Al NamiasIV: Clement isn’t really the issue in terms of generating rushing yards. That is, Wisconsin reloads at two positions: running back and offensive line; and generally it’s the difference between a good running back and offensive line and great running back and offensive line. Where does Clement sit on the good-great continuum? We may never know, because those areas where UW doesn’t reload look potentially problematic. Most of the offensive line returns, but at quarterback, you’ve probably got Bart Houston who couldn’t unseat Joel Stave. You’ve got a solid tight end, but no established downfield receiving threats. Clement could very well be the second coming of Ron Dayne, but if those other things don’t get sorted out, it will probably only matter so much. Therefore, if he stays healthy, I’ll go just above Graham and put Clement down for 1400 yards with the backup--Deal or Ogunbowale--contributing another 500-600 yards.
MNW: I think Clement’s going to run up, like Al noted, against the similar issues that he did last year: Teams are going to sell out to stop Clement, and once in awhile that’s actually going to work. I’ll point to the Northwestern game as one example. And while yes, I know that Clement was coming back from problems both of his own making and of injuries, when a team is actually decent and selling out to stop the run and challenging Bart Houston, it’s gonna work.
That said, Clement is still a damn good back, but I think it’s reasonable to be asking questions of his ability to be the bell cow for Wisconsin. I am going to predict that he misses a couple games with injury but finishes with a stellar 1200 yards, averaging about 130 per game.
Townie: So Clements got hurt, but now he’s back. I heard he changed his number. Is that his case file from the brawl he got into?
How’s that injury now? Hernia’s suck and they often resurface. I’m sorry if I don’t immediately bump him up to the best in the B1G because of preseason hype from last year.
In truth, we really don’t know much about Clement. He’s a decent back, which we know from 2014. But his yards per carry are headed south. He has a lot to prove, just to get into the NFL draft...let alone be in the conversation best in the B1G.
C4B: Knowing (and caring) little to nothing about how Wisconsin’s offense is gonna look this year, I’m going to go for the very scientific prediction that Clement runs for 1,337 yards exactly.
GF3: Can we take a step back here and examine this "finally healthy" part? Clement is made of glass, and the odds that he’s going to make it through a Wisconsin season of "oh, fuck it...just run up the middle" unscathed are pretty slim, given what we saw last year. He’ll tally up somewhere around 1000 yards on account of missing 2-3 games. A great talent, but not a franchise running back.
Jesse: I vote for 1200 yards, but mainly because I have no idea if Wisconsin will split reps like they have, if Clement can stay healthy, and whether or not they can create a competent passing game that opens lanes up for him. Then again, I really don’t know… doubting Wisconsin’s passing game might actually increase Clement’s yards because lack of other options.
Aaron: Clement has never carried the ball more than 19 times in a game before, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a full-time workload if Wisconsin decides to go that route. If he gets around 20 carries per game, Clement should be able to rush for at least 1,500 yards as long as that rebuilt line does its job.
Andrew Polishsomething: Err, I seem to recall Zeke Elliott, HYUUUUGE CHASM, then Clement and/or Jackson, but whatevs. He's the lead back behind what should be a sturdy, experienced line playing in a weak division, so pencil him in for 1,400 if he stays healthy.
Author's note- Get fucked Iowa. I had Tri Sigs I could be entertaining at this hour, but noooo I'm editing a potluck so you can be shitheads after the one season a decade you're relevant.