There were some concerns about Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon after a desultory 38-yard performance against FCS opponent Western Illinois in the Badgers' most recent game (Sept. 6). There shouldn't be concerns anymore.
Gordon had a monster game Saturday, rushing for 253 yards and five touchdowns -- setting career highs in both categories -- on just 13 carries as the Badgers mauled Bowling Green, 68-17. Wisconsin ran for 640 yards, the fourth time since the start of the 2012 season that Wisconsin has run for at least 500 yards; in addition, the Badgers set a school record with 756 yards of total offense (the old mark had been 705 against Indiana in 1999).
Granted, Bowling Green's defense hadn't shown all that much this season, but Gordon still looked in peak form -- running hard up the middle, turning the corner with ease and blowing past linebackers and defensive backs once he got to the second level.
The only negative: Gordon lost the first fumble of his career early in the first quarter. But he more than made up for it, finishing the first half with 179 yards and four TDs on 11 carries. That first-half rushing total would've been the third-best rushing performance of his career.
His first-half touchdowns covered 2, 50, 3 and 21 yards; the 50-yarder was his eighth career carry of at least 50 yards, tying him with Miami tailback Duke Johnson for the most by an active FBS player. He broke that tie with his first carry of the second half, which he took for a 69-yard touchdown.
Gordon now has 431 yards this season and is averaging 8.97 yards per carry.
The victory increased Wisconsin's home-field winning streak against non-conference opponents to 31, the second-longest such streak in the nation. LSU leads at 48.