Melvin Gordon will have to wait until next month to learn if he’s the third Heisman Trophy winner in Wisconsin’s history.
The Badgers’ running back, however, all but secured his invitation to New York for the presentation ceremony with his record 408-yard rushing performance in a 59-24 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
Gordon, who leads the country with 1,909 yards rushing for the season, eclipsed the former single-game Football Bowl Subdivision mark of 406 yards by TCU running back LaDanian Tomlinson with his 25-carry effort.
Tomlinson’s mark had stood since 1999.
“I didn’t even know I was close to a record like that,” Gordon said. “I was just kind of running away.”
Running away, indeed.
Right into the record books — while possibly joining Alan Ameche (1954) and Ron Dayne (1999) as Heisman winners from Wisconsin.
Gordon didn’t play in the fourth quarter of Wisconsin’s dominating win — in which it scored 56 straight points at one point. Here are just a few of the notable accomplishments by the junior while he was on the field on Saturday:
— The game was the eighth straight in which Gordon has rushed for more than 100 yards, something he’s accomplished in nine of 10 games overall this season. He now has 25 touchdowns after the Saturday’s four-score effort.
— Gordon’s 189 yards in the second quarter set the school record for rushing yards in a quarter, surpassing Dayne’s 170 yards against San Jose State in 1997. For good measure, Gordon added 170 yards in the third quarter.
— Gordon has now topped the 200-yard mark in four games this season and five times in his career. Dayne is the only other Badger to run for at least 200 yards in a game four times in a season, doing so five times in both 1996 and 1999.
“How about this guy? He’s the best of the best,” Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said of Gordon.
It’s hard to argue with Andersen after Saturday.