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Melvin Gordon leads Wisconsin with huge second half vs. USF

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Morry Gash/Associated Press
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon carried a heavy load for the Badgers vs. USF.

Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon didn't do too much in the first half Saturday against USF. But he had a big second half to propel the Badgers to a 27-10 victory.

Gordon had just 51 yards in the first half, which ended with the teams tied 3-3. But Gordon rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, finishing with 181 yards and the two touchdowns to help the Badgers win their 32nd game in a row at home against a non-conference opponent. His yardage total Saturday was the fourth-highest in Gordon's career and comes on the heels of last week's career-best 253-yard performance against Bowling Green.

Also of note: Gordon had a career-high 32 carries; his previous career high was 25 in a Capital One Bowl loss to South Carolina to end last season, and he had a total of 46 carries in this season's first three games. Saturday's game was just the third time in Gordon's career that he had at least 20 carries.

One reason for his heavy workload, of course, is Wisconsin wants to get the ball to its best player as often as possible. But another reason is that while backup tailback Corey Clement is a solid complementary talent, he lacks explosiveness, so why not continue to feed Gordon?

Gordon scored on runs of 7 and 43 yards on Wisconsin's first two possessions of the second half. The second score was a thing of beauty, as Gordon shook off some tacklers first at the line of scrimmage, then near the line of scrimmage; he then simply ran away from USF's secondary. That TD run was his 11th rush of at least 40 yards in the past two seasons, tied with Indiana's Tevin Coleman for the most in the FBS ranks in that span.

Gordon has 612 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 carries this season, an average of 7.8 yards per carry.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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