The Wisconsin Badgers are in the driver’s seat and control their own destiny for a spot in the Big Ten title game and running back Melvin Gordon put himself in serious consideration for the Heisman Trophy.
Gordon broke the UW rushing record held by Ron Dayne (339), the Big Ten rushing record previously held by Indiana’s Anthony Thompson (377) and capped it off by breaking the Football Bowl Subdivision mark of LaDainian Tomlinson (406) while at TCU.
Gordon finished his day after just three-quarters in the Badgers 59-24 romp over Nebraska in a Big Ten matchup at Camp Randall Stadium. He finished with 408 yards on 25 carries, a 16.3 yards per carry average and four touchdowns.
The performance pushed Gordon’s season totals to 1,909 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
The record breaker came on a 26-yard touchdown run, on the final play of the third quarter.
The Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) took over sole possession of first place in the West Division. Nebraska fell to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. The Minnesota Gophers started the day in a three-way tie for the Big Ten’s West Division lead but fell 31-24 to East Division leader Ohio State earlier in the day.
Nebraska hosts Minnesota next and then closes Nov. 28 at Iowa.
The Badgers play next at Iowa (7-3, 4-2) and then closes the regular season on Nov. 29th at home against Minnesota (7-3, 4-2).
The game was being billed as a Heisman showdown between Gordon and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah but Wisconsin’s defense held Abdullah to 69 yards on 18 carries. They held Nebraska to just 62 passing yards and 180 total yards. Wisconsin also forced five Nebraska turnovers (4 fumbles and 1 interception).
The Badgers were sloppy out of the gate and fell behind 17-3 but dug deep to rebound and win going away.
It’s an impressive performance for the Badgers. Nebraska entered the game ranked 19th in rushing defense in the country, but somebody forgot to tell the Badgers. The offensive line opened the holes and the tight ends and wide receivers did a great job blocking as well. Gordon had a lot of running room and he did just what he’s supposed to do, by taking advantage of his opportunities.
Gordon and the Badgers have to keep it up. If they do, the Badgers running back stands a decent chance to walk away with the Heisman Trophy.