Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon had good production but relatively few carries last week in a loss to LSU. That wasn't the case Saturday, when he was basically shut down by FCS foe Western Illinois.
Gordon had 17 carries, but they went for just 38 yards in a 37-3 win over the Leathernecks. He had 8 yards on nine carries in the first half, which ended with the Badgers leading just 9-3. Wisconsin took control in the second half, but it was because of the arm of Tanner McEvoy, who threw for 283 yards and three TDs.
Gordon (6-foot-1, 209 yards) was seen as a Heisman candidate before the season, but he'll need to ramp up his production in the next few weeks to get back into the Heisman discussion. He did have four receptions for 22 yards and a TD on Saturday; it was just the second TD reception of his career. Gordon had just one reception last season.
Gordon did have a 21-yard run in the second half, but that was his only notable carry of the day. Gordon was said to be bothered by a minor hip injury, but he had one more carry against Western Illinois than he did against LSU; against the Tigers, though, he rushed for 140 yards.
WIU stacked the box and dared Wisconsin to throw, and McEvoy took advantage; he finished 23-of-38 after going an abysmal 8-of-24 for 50 yards against LSU. Wisconsin finished with just 173 rushing yards; the Badgers rushed for fewer than 173 twice last season, in losses to Ohio State and Penn State.