MADISON - Melvin Gordon likely punched his ticket to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, giving No.22 Wisconsin its biggest win of the season in the process.
The junior tailback broke every single game rushing record imaginable with an eye-popping 408-yard performance in the Badgers’ 59-24 whipping of No.11 Nebraska in front of 80,539 witnesses at Camp Randall Stadium.
Combined with Minnesota’s home loss to Ohio State, Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) is in sole position of the Big Ten West Division with two weeks to go. That is a footnote after the performance Gordon delivered in front of a national audience.
In only three quarters of action, Gordon averaged 16.3 yards on his 25 carries and took down every major rushing record after halftime. Ron Dayne’s 339-yard run was gone after a 68-yard carry, Anthony Thompson’s 377-yard Big Ten record on a paltry 6-yard carry and took down TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson 406-yard FBS record on his final carry of the day, a 26-yard scamper to end the third quarter.
Gordon had six carries for 49 yards after first quarter. He had 19 carries for 359 yards in the second and third quarters (18.9 ypc) before taking a seat on the bench.
Wisconsin racket up over 600 yards of total offense while the Badgers’ top ranked defense held Nebraska, which was averaging over 40 points per game, under 180 yards.
It was the second straight embarrassing defeat Wisconsin has handed the Cornhuskers following the 70-31 drubbing in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
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6 plays, 14 yards, 1:45 TOP, 12:24 left
FG Drew Brown 32
Key Play: Wisconsin tried to use Kenzel Doe's speed on the jet sweep, but defensive end Greg McMullen's hit knocked the ball loose and he recovered the fumble on Wisconsin's 29-yard line.
5 plays, 43 yards, 1:59 TOP, 9:21 left
Kenny Ball 12-yard pass Tommy Armstrong (Drew Brown kick)
Key Play: A blown coverage led to an easy pitch and catch for Nebraska, the only pass on the short drive that was set up by a poor rugby punt by Bart Houston.
7 plays, 67 yards, 3:11 TOP, 6:10 left
FG Rafael Gaglianone 26
Key Play: Melvin Gordon had a 42-yard run down to the Nebraska 28, but his bigger play might have been recovering a Tanner McEvoy fumble at the 9-yard line, allowing UW to maintain possession.
8 plays, 30 yards, 3:53 TOP, 14:12 left
Tommy Armstrong 5-yard run (Brown kick)
Key Play: Wisconsin's offense continues to shoot itself in the foot. Badgers have fumbled three times in their first four series, the latest coming from Melvin Gordon that gave Nebraska the ball on UW's 30.
4 plays, 77 yards, 1:45 TOP, 12:21 left
Melvin Gordon 62-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: A Heisman moment for Melvin Gordon, who hurdled Corey Cooper along the sidelines for UW's first touchdown of the game.
2 plays, 56 yards, :41 TOP, 7:21 left
Corey Clement 17-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: After losing three fumbles, Wisconsin's defense finally made a play, as Warren Herring's forced fumble near midfield help get some momentum back on the Badgers' sideline.
6 plays, 75 yards, 2:38 TOP, 3:31 left
Sam Arneson 5-yard pass from Joel Stave (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Channeling flashbacks of the 2012 Big Ten Championship game, Gordon is starting to run wild. Over 175 rushing yards in the second quarter alone, Gordon's 44-yard run to start the drive moved the ball to the Nebraska 31.
4 plays, 58 yards, 1:55 TOP, 8:06 left
Melvin Gordon 1-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Seriously, Gordon. The junior bounced a run outside and went 43 yards, getting caught at the one-yard line.
2 plays, 74 yards, :41 TOP, 5:46 left
Melvin Gordon 6-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Starting the drive needing 44 yards to tie Ron Dayne's single game rushing record, Gordon only needed one carry. A huge hole opened on the right side of Wisconsin's offensive line and Gordon zipped 68 yards.
6 plays, 58 yards, 3:09 TOP, 1:00 left
Tanner McEvoy 11-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: It's now a clinic for Wisconsin. Putting Melvin Gordon in motion, half the Nebraska defense flowed to No.25, leaving McEvoy completely unaccounted for. The junior quarterback could have walked into the end zone.
2 plays, 26 yards, :12 TOP, 0:00 left
Melvin Gordon 26-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: A run through the right side of the line ended in history for Gordon, as his day is likely done with 408 rushing yards..
7 plays, 51 yards, 4:02 TOP, 5:34 left
Dare Ogunbowale 6-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Dare Ogunbowale took a lick at the goal line but cashed in a drive that was all him with his first career rushing touchdown.
1 play, 1 yard, :06 TOP, 2:44 left
Terrell Newby 1-yard run (Brown kick)
Key Play: A botched handoff between Wisconsin's third-string quarterback and tailback gave the ball to the Cornhuskers on the 3-yard line..
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