Skip to main content

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon threatening Barry Sanders' records

It's been a pretty fun few days in the spotlight for Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

He set an FBS single-game record for most rushing yards against Nebraska on Saturday -- in three quarters. He's vaulted into at least second place on most Heisman Trophy lists; has his #GordontoGotham (i.e. New York City, where the Heisman ceremony is held) hashtag trending on social media; and is a good reason why the Badgers are in prime contention for the Big Ten title this season. That he ran wild this past weekend in the snow during the Badgers' coldest game at Camp Randall in 50 years only adds to his legend.

Now Gordon might have his sights set on something else: Barry Sanders' records.

Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma State, still holds or shares a remarkable 28 FBS records coming into the 2014 season, but none might be as well known as his single-season mark of 2,628 rushing yards set in 1988. Over the next few weeks, however, that record might be in jeopardy -- thanks to his historic game against Nebraska, Gordon has an outside shot at beating Barry.

Gordon is sitting at 1,909 rushing yards for the season, 719 shy of Sanders' record. Wisconsin has two regular-season games left: at Iowa's 46th-ranked rush defense and a home contest against Minnesota's 53rd-ranked rush defense. For Gordon to total 360 yards per game in those two games might seem like a stretch (it is), but if the Badgers win both -- or win one of the two and have some help -- they would clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game.

Suddenly, 240 yards per game seems a bit more manageable, and Gordon has topped that mark three times already this year. If you want to throw in a bowl game, the average per game the Wisconsin star needs drops to 180 yards over for games to break the record.

Here's the thing though, Sanders set his record in just 11 games. Gordon, however, could certainly hold his head up high if he managed to break the record in 14 games either way.

Gordon also is on pace to break Sanders' record for yards per attempt if he makes it to 280 carries and is almost set to break the career yards-per-carry mark currently held by Army's Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis.

It's a historic season for Gordon either way, but it would certainly indicate how special he's been in the red and white if he can find a way to top a legend like Sanders when all is said and done in 2014.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content