Illinois and Wisconsin Share Final Weekly Football Laurels of 2009 Season

Wisconsin running back John Clay earns Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week honors after compi,ling 172 yards and three touchdowns at Hawaii.

Wisconsin running back John Clay earns Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week honors after compi,ling 172 yards and three touchdowns at Hawaii.

Dec. 7, 2009

CO-OFFENSE:

Mikel LeShoure, Illinois
SO, RB, Champaign, Ill./Centennial 
LeShoure accounted for three touchdowns and averaged 16.7 yards per carry to rack up a career-high 184 rushing yards against Fresno State. The sophomore running back’s 184 rushing yards mark the highest total by an Illini since Rashard Mendenhall broke loose for 201 yards against Minnesota during the 2007 campaign.  LeShoure tallied each of his three scores in the second half, giving the home team the lead on each occasion. After the visitors tied the score at 31-31, LeShoure broke loose on a 61-yard scoring sprint to regain the lead at the end of the third quarter. The Bulldogs again tied the score early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Champaign native put the hosts back on top 45-38 with a 19-yard touchdown run. After another Fresno State score, LeShoure went through the air for his third touchdown, hauling in a 22-yard scoring strike to give Illinois a 52-45 advantage. He racked up 206 all-purpose yards on the day and nabbed his first career weekly laurel.
LAST ILL OFFENSIVE POW: QB Juice Williams on Nov. 29, 2009

John Clay, Wisconsin
SO, RB, Racine, Wis./Washington Park
Clay matched a career high with three rushing touchdowns and posted 172 yards on 24 carries to lead Wisconsin to a 51-10 victory at Hawaii. The sophomore running back posted his fifth straight game of 100 yards or more on the ground and now has eight 100-yard efforts this season and 11 for his career. Clay produced 111 rushing yards in the first half alone, including touchdown runs of two and three yards. He tacked on a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter to push the Badgers ahead 34-3 before sitting out most of the fourth quarter. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year ended the regular season with a Big Ten-best 1,396 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. The Wisconsin native earns his second weekly accolade this season and for his career after being honored on Oct. 4, 2009.
LAST WIS OFFENSIVE POW: QB Scott Tolzien on Nov. 15, 2009


 

 

DEFENSE:

J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
SO, DE, Pewaukee, Wis./Pewaukee
Watt racked up six tackles and three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks, to help hold Hawaii to only 10 points in a 51-10 road victory for the Badgers. The sophomore defensive end pushed the Hawaii offense back 10 yards with his three tackles for loss, including nine yards on his two sacks, and all six of his defensive stops were solo tackles. The hosts entered the game ranked third in the country with 348.7 passing yards per game, but were held to a season-low 197 passing yards thanks in part to a season-high six sacks by the Wisconsin defense. Watt helped the Badgers limit their ninth straight opponent to less than 100 yards rushing, holding the Warriors to only 17 yards on the ground, the fewest rushing yards allowed by the team this season. The Wisconsin native garners his first career weekly laurels.
LAST WIS DEFENSIVE POW: LB Chris Borland on Nov. 1, 2009

SPECIAL TEAMS:

David Gilreath, Wisconsin
JR, KR/PR, Minneapolis, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong
Gilreath produced 102 total return yards at Hawaii, including 94 yards on two kickoff returns to equal the Big Ten and Wisconsin career record for kickoff returns. The junior wideout now has 106 kickoff returns in his career, to tie former Badger Brandon Williams and Michigan State’s Derrick Mason for the conference record. Gilreath also has 2,326 career kickoff return yards to rank third in Big Ten history, just 250 yards from breaking Mason’s conference mark of 2,575 yards set from 1993-96. The Minnesota native accounted for 169 all-purpose yards against the Warriors, including 54 receiving yards, 13 rushing yards, 94 kickoff return yards and eight punt return yards. He now has 4,045 career all-purpose yards, becoming just the sixth Badger to break the 4,000-yard barrier. Gilreath’s 43- and 51-yard kickoff returns marked the team’s longest returns this season and his longest since a 55-yarder against Michigan on Sept. 27, 2008. He also added an eight-yard touchdown run in the victory. Gilreath collects special teams accolades for the third straight season after being honored on Nov. 10, 2008, and Sept. 17, 2007.
LAST WIS SPECIAL TEAMS POW: LB Chris Borland on Sept. 20, 2009