Wisconsin has become known for producing good, if not great, college running backs in the last two decades. These running backs have had some spectacular individual performances, but none were better than what Melvin Gordon accomplished last season. Gordon finished last year with 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns, but a major chunk of that yardage came in one game in November against Nebraska when he rushed for 408 yards, a single-game NCAA record.
Being in the stands for that historic moment in Badger and college football history was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The game, however, did not start well for the Badgers, as they faced a 17-3 deficit early in the second quarter, hushing a typically boisterous Camp Randall Stadium.
The crowd did not stay quiet for long, as it exploded in cheers when Gordon broke a 62-yard touchdown run to bring the Badgers within a touchdown of Nebraska.
The noise level crescendoed as Wisconsin scored another two touchdowns to go up seven before halftime.
Sitting in the stands at halftime, I felt like something special was happening when the scoreboard showed Gordon tallying 238 rushing yards.
After a bit of a stalemate at the beginning of the third quarter Gordon punched the ball in from the 1-yard line to put Wisconsin up by 14. Gordon then ripped off a 68-yard run on the next possession, causing a massive explosion of cheers, as he had broken the 350-yard mark for the game. It was a possibility that Gordon would be pulled from the game as it got deeper in the second half, as the Badgers were up by 28.
Then with the last play of the third quarter, it happened. He broke off a 26-yard touchdown that pushed his total to 408. The crowd erupted with praise for Gordon, which melted into the amazing tradition of “Jump Around.” After it was announced that he had broken the record the crowd started to chant his name.
Even though it was cold and snowing, the crowd stayed throughout Gordon’s unprecedented performance and Wisconsin’s 59-24 domination of Nebraska. That 26-yard run to clinch the record will be something that I, and most everybody in that stadium, will never forget.