Auburn Outback Bowl Preview: Wisconsin Badgers Offense

3 of 5

Wisconsin Badgers Running Backs

It’s hard to argue that Melvin Gordon has been the nation’s best running back in 2014. In fact, he won the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the best player in the country at the position.

The junior, who is headed to the NFL following the Outback Bowl, became the 17th player in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and the quickest ever to reach the mark, doing so in his first 241 carries.

Overall, Gordon has 2,336 rushing yards, 179.7 rushing yards per game, and 26 touchdowns – all of which lead the nation – on 309 carries for an amazing average of 7.6 yards per carry. Believe it or not, that average is lower than the 7.8 yards per attempt he produced in 2013. Gordon also has 17 catches out of the backfield for 151 yards and three touchdowns.

Oh, and he broke the single-game rushing record with 408 yards against Nebraska. In three quarters. Unfortunately for Gordon, he lost it the very next week.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Wisconsin native needs just one more score to become the third player in FBS history to rush for over 2,000 yards and score 30 TDs in a single season.

Gordon practically rewrote the record books this season at Wisconsin, and therefore, in the Big Ten. Former Badgers great and 1999 Heisman winner Ron Dayne was the conference’s single-season rushing champion with 2,109 yards as a freshman in 1996.

Alvarez put it pretty well when he said Gordon is “probably the best back that ever came through here.”

But Gordon isn’t alone in the Wisconsin backfield, or in breaking records.

Corey Clement has 844 yards and nine touchdowns this season, which combined with Gordon makes them the new FBS record holders for most combined rushing yards by teammates. Gordon also was part of the previous record duo. He and James White combined for 3,053 rushing yards in 2013.

Simply put, the Auburn football team will have their hands full with one of the nation’s best rushing attacks, led by the Heisman Trophy runner-up.

Next: Wisconsin Receivers