Melvin Gordon became the fastest player to 2,000 yards in Wisconsin’s 26-24 win over Iowa on Saturday, hitting the 2k mark on just his 241st carry of the season. Gordon rushed 31 times for 200 yards on the day, brining his season totals to 2,109 yards on 254 attempts.
And that brings a much bigger record into play.
The fleet-footed junior is currently in 10th place on the FBS all-time single-season rushing list, sitting 519 yards away from tying Barry Sanders‘ record of 2,628 yards.
The last two weeks have brought Gordon’s average up to 191.7 yards per game on the season. Three more games at that average would put Gordon at 2,684 yards on the year – breaking the record by 56 yards. Of course, the catch is that Wisconsin doesn’t have three games guaranteed left to play.
Wisconsin hosts Minnesota Saturday with a spot in the Big Ten title game on the line. A victory extends the Badgers’ season by a game, and puts Sanders’ record within reach.
Gordon would have to have outstanding games against not only Minnesota, but Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and a quality bowl opponent as well. That said, Gordon has been up to the task against top competition this season.
#Badgers Gordon has rushed for 140+ yards in each of his last 4 gms vs. ranked teams & is averaging 9.95 ypc. in last 7 gms vs. ranked foes
— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) November 23, 2014
Here’s how Gordon stacks up among the best single-season rushing performances thus far:
1. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (1988) – 2,628
2. Kevin Smith, Central Florida (2007) – 2,567
3. Marcus Allen, USC (1981) – 2,342
4. Troy Davis, Iowa State (1996) – 2,185
5. Andre Williams, Boston College (2013) – 2,177
6. LaDanian Tomlinson, TCU (2000) – 2,158
7. Mike Rozier, Nebraska (1983) – 2,148
8. Matt Forte, Tulane (2007) – 2,127
9. Ricky Williams, Texas (1998) – 2,124
10. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (2014) – 2,109
Barring injury (knock on every piece of wood within a 10-mile radius) or an NCAA waiver allowing 14 defenders on the field, Gordon should be in fourth place by the end of the day Saturday and figures to finish no worse than third regardless of whether or not the Badgers beat the Gophers.