The Wisconsin Badgers face the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a Big Ten Conference showdown at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. The two teams are tied with Minnesota for the Big Ten West Division lead with 4-1 records. If the Badgers win, they’ll control their own destiny for the West Division title with two games left to play after this weekend.
It’s a big game for running back Melvin Gordon as well. He’s put himself in the Heisman Trophy chase by leading the nation in rushing, averaging 166.8 yards a game.
Saturday, Gordon will be facing a Cornhuskers defense that ranks 19th in the country in rush defense, allowing 123.8 yards a game. Gordon will also indirectly, be battling his friend, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, who is also in the Heisman race.
But while that individual battle has been raging all season, this battle is about Gordon against the Nebraska defense. It’s about a Heisman contender taking a series run at the top prize by performing well in a big game. This is a big game for the Badgers. It’ll be broadcast nationally on ABC for the whole country to see, so it’s a great opportunity for Gordon to put up some big numbers and place himself into the category of potential Heisman favorite.
Gordon has rushed for 19 touchdowns this season (2.1 per game). Nebraska has held opponents to 12 touchdowns all season. It’s another battle within the battle.
Nebraska is the team the Badgers were playing when Gordon broke onto the scene back in 2012. It was the Big Ten title game, when Gordon rushed for 216 yards on only nine carries as the Badgers blew out the Cornhuskers 70-31.