Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon runs wild in rout of Purdue

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Another game, another big performance from Wisconsin sophomore tailback Melvin Gordon.

Gordon rushed for 147 yards on 16 carries (9.2 yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns in a 41-10 rout of Purdue. In four games this season he has 629 yards on 53 carries (11.9 ypc) and eight touchdowns.

Gordon was part of a bruising Badgers ground attack that rolled up 388 yards and five TDs. James White had 145 yards and a TD on 16 carries, and true freshman third-teamer Corey Clement had 83 yards and a score on 13 carries.

Gordon (6-1, 207 pounds) just might be the best running back in the nation. He doesn't have elite speed, but he does possess a burst and can turn the corner. He's also physical enough to run effectively between the tackles.

But as last week's loss at Arizona State showed, the Badgers need to have a productive passing attack if they want to beat good teams. Saturday, Badgers quarterback Joel Stave threw for 158 yards, with one interception and no TDs.

Senior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was kept busy by Stave, with seven catches. He has 23 receptions for the season. But the Badgers do not have a strong No. 2 wide receiver -- White is the team's second-leading receiver -- and tight end Jacob Pedersen was held without a catch by Purdue.

As good as Gordon is, and as effective as White and Clement have been, Wisconsin's overall success this season will come down to how well Stave can throw the ball in a big game -- like in next week's Big Ten showdown against Ohio State.

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

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