There was nothing mysterious about Wisconsin's offense Saturday: The Badgers lined up and ran it right down Northwestern's throat, to the tune of 286 rushing yards in a 35-6 rout.
Badgers sophomore tailback Melvin Gordon rumbled for 172 yards and a TD on 22 carries. Gordon's touchdown came on a 71-yard run late in the first half that gave the Badgers a 21-3 lead. It was Gordon's third 70-yard run of the season, which leads the nation. Backup tailback James White ran for 101 yards and a TD on 19 carries.
Wisconsin's 286 rushing yards came on 51 carries, an average of 5.6 yards per carry.
Joel Stave tossed three TD passes for the Badgers, who had the ball for 38 minutes and 23 seconds and rolled despite three turnovers. Wisconsin's defense came up with seven sacks.
It was the fifth 100-yard game of the season for Gordon, a third-year sophomore who has rushed for 870 yards and eight TDs. Gordon is averaging 9.7 yards per carry this season. He also caught a pass, his first reception of the season and just the third of his career.
Northwestern had been allowing just 144.8 rushing yards per game.
The Badgers (4-2 overall, 2-1 in the Big Ten) should be favored in every game the rest of the way. They have games left against Illinois, Iowa, BYU, Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.