Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) – Melvin Gordon stiff-armed defenders, skipped
past would-be tacklers, broke through wide-open holes and raced around sealed
corners to rush for more yards than anyone in FBS history.
A record performance that culminated in a steady snowfall heated up the junior
running back’s chances to win college football’s most prestigious individual
Gordon bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy with a record 408 yards rushing
and No. 22 Wisconsin ran away with a 59-24 win over No. 11 Nebraska in a key
Big Ten West showdown on Saturday.
Gordon, already the nation’s leading rusher entering play, ripped off seven
runs of at least 26 yards and broke future NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson’s FBS
record for rushing yards in a game.
Tomlinson, who gained 406 yards for TCU against UTEP on Nov. 20, 1999,
congratulated Gordon in a tweet.
Gordon also broke the old Wisconsin record of 339 yards set by all-time NCAA
rushing leader Ron Dayne against Hawaii on Nov. 30, 1996.
He and the Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) both overcame ball security issues in
the first half to score 56 straight points after trailing 17-3, picking up
their fifth consecutive win.
Nebraska (8-2, 4-2) and senior running back Ameer Abdullah, whose own Heisman
bid is probably over, had a three-game winning streak snapped despite having a
bye week to get ready for Gordon and the Badgers.
Wisconsin took a one-game lead over Nebraska and Minnesota in the Big Ten West
division with two regular-season games remaining against Iowa and Minnesota,
which fell to Ohio State on Saturday.
Gordon set the record with a 26-yard touchdown run in the snow on the final
play of the third quarter. His 408 yards came on 25 carries for an average of
16.32 yards per touch. His four touchdowns gave him an FBS-high 25 this year.
The performance also included runs of 68, 62, 44, 43, 42 and 39 yards, helping
Wisconsin rush for 581 yards as a team.