Wisconsin sophomore tailback Melvin Gordon is third in the nation in rushing, but he has become the best big-play back around.
Gordon had his sixth 140-yard performance of the season last Saturday in helping the Badgers beat Illinois. He is averaging 144.6 rushing yards per game, behind only Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey (161.0 yards per game) and Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews (148.0 ypg).
A quick perusal of cfbstats.com shows that Gordon leads the nation in runs of 70-plus yards (three), 60-plus yards (four), 50-plus yards (tied with four), 30-plus yards (tied with seven) and 20-plus yards (tied with 11). The leader in runs of 40-plus yards is another Big Ten player, Indiana's Tevin Coleman, with five; Gordon has four.
Gordon (6-foot-1, 207 pounds), a third-year sophomore who is draft-eligible should he decide to leave school early, has run for 1,012 yards and 11 TDs on 107 carries. That's an average of 9.5 yards per carry. Gordon has eight 100-yard performances in 19 career games.
Wisconsin is off this week and plays at Iowa on Nov. 2 in what might be the Badgers' toughest remaining game. Gordon, who is from Kenosha, Wis., originally committed to Iowa while in high school but later changed his mind and eventually signed with Wisconsin.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.