Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon had his second four-touchdown day of the season Saturday in leading the Badgers to a 38-28 win over Illinois.
Gordon ran for 175 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries; he rushed for five TDs in a Sept. 20 rout of Bowling Green. Gordon has 1,046 yards and 13 touchdowns this season; he's the first Badgers back to reach the 1,000-yard plateau in six games, and New England Patriots rookie James White, Gordon's former teammate, took note of his accomplishment.
White also retweeted a tweet congratulating Florida State's Rashad Greene -- who played high school ball with White at Fort Lauderdale [Fla.] St. Thomas Aquinas -- on becoming FSU's leading career receiver Saturday.
Gordon, called "a big-play runner with outstanding speed and quickness" by NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks in August, rushed for 146 yards and three TDs on 18 carries in the first half; the 18 carries were the most he has had in a half in his career.
His 27 carries for the game ties the second-most in his career; he also had 27 attempts in last week's loss to Northwestern. Gordon has 86 carries (along with 615 yards and seven TDs) in the past three games; that is 40 percent of the carries he had all of last season (206), when he ran for 1,609 yards.
Gordon will get a chance to rest up because the Badgers are off next week; then comes a three-game stretch against three of the worst rush defenses in the Big Ten (Maryland, Rutgers and Purdue) before a season-defining closing stretch against Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.
Gordon and backup tailback Corey Clement combined for 339 yards on 40 carries; Wisconsin's pass offense again was ineffective, with quarterbacks Joel Stave -- back in the starting role after losing the job to Tanner McEvoy -- and McEvoy combining to go 10-of-18 for 97 yards.