Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin Go Off for Monumental Day


Just how monumental was Wisconsin’s 644-yard rushing performance in Saturday’s 68-17 blowout of Bowling Green?

It set a program record, which is meaningful when you consider just how prolific past Badgers teams have been on the ground. And the Big Ten, a conference known for running the ball, had not had a team register those kind of numbers in 84 years.

Melvin Gordon seems to have recovered just fine from the injury that limited him in the Badgers’ Week 1 loss to LSU. He averaged a staggering 19.5 yards per carry en route to 253 total and tied Wisconsin’s single-game touchdown record with five rushing scores. Given the backs Wisconsin has had, including 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne and 2011 Heisman finalist Montee Ball, Gordon joined elite company.

In the process, Gordon reignited his own Heisman candidacy, which lost some attention despite solid numbers against LSU.

What’s Wisconsin’s historic day also says? Various FBS rushing records might be downright untouchable.

As mentioned, the Badgers set a Big Ten high for the last eight decades, and were still more than 100 yards behind the single-game record. That belongs to Oklahoma, which gained an incredible 768 rushing yards against Kansas State in 1988.

Likewise, Wisconsin averaged a staggering 10.5 yards per carry today.

Forget the opponent, the #Badgers' rushing stats today are staggering.

— Brent Yarina(@BTNBrentYarina) September 20, 2014

That’s a full five yards fewer per carry than Northern Illinois averaged on 35 rushes in a game against Eastern Michigan in 2010. The Huskies rolled off 15.54 yards a rush.

That same season, Georgia Tech averaged 12.8 yards per on 50 carries against Kansas.

None of the above takes away from Wisconsin’s day for the ages, but rather is a testament to just how difficult some of college football’s records are to break.