Melvin Gordon may not have won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, but thereâ€™s little doubt about the incredible season he has had.
Rushing for over 2,300 yards and needing less than 300 yards in the bowl game to become the single-season rushing record holder should tell you all you need to know. But there is more…like joining Barry Sanders as the only two players to rush for 2,000 yards and have 30 or more rushing touchdowns.
It all means special things happened along the way, and given the fact that Gordon is off the NFL itâ€™s time we celebrate the top moments of Gordonâ€™s special 2014 season.
So, here are the top 10 moments in a season full of many memories the Badger faithful wonâ€™t forget for a long time.
10. Stiff Arm for the Stiff Arm Trophy?Â
Little did we know a moment that took place against Bowling Green would become the catalyst for Melvin Gordonâ€™s Heisman Trophy run…But, Gordon going 50 yards and finishing it off with a crazy stiff arm was about as poignant a moment as could happen in 2014.
9. Gordonâ€™s opening TD against Rutgers
A 14-yard TD run in a game that UW blanked its opponent in…who cares? Except this one highlighted all the great qualities of Melvin Gordon in one touchdown run.
Gordon ran with vision, powered his way through a situation and then had the vision and speed to make two other players miss. For a 14-yard run it was about as impressive as it gets
Just another day at the office for the nation's leading scorer, @BadgerFootball RB Melvin Gordon. #DQFanFavorite http://t.co/3thvgItJ6H
— Wisconsin on BTN (@BTN_Wisconsin) November 1, 2014
8. Comeback starting TD against Minnesota
Melvin Gordon came in to 2014 having never lost an Axe game, and after spotting the Gophs a 17-3 lead he wasnâ€™t about to let it happen in his final game at Camp Randall. With the Badgers closing in on the goal line Joel Stave rolled out and hit Gordon for a receiving TD from four yards out.
Not the flashiest of plays, but it got UW within a touchdown of the Gophs, and started a very emphatic comeback in the second quarter.
Melvin Gordon & Joel Stave getting it done through the air on this @BadgerFootball TD. #DQFanFavorite http://t.co/ODEVl444ez
— Wisconsin on BTN (@BTN_Wisconsin) November 29, 2014
7. Gordon goes over 2,000-yard mark for 2014
#MelvinMomentâ€™s were all the rage in 2014 and when Gordon was closing in on the 2,000-yard mark for the season against Iowa he put an emphatic stamp on getting to that historic mark. Naturally, Gordon busted off a nearly 90-yard run to put himself over 2,000 yards…you know, because Gordon doesnâ€™t do non-exciting moments very well.
ICYMI: Melvin Gordon cracked 2,000 yards rushing on this season with this run. Brought to you by @Buick. http://t.co/10gsKnLKhE
— Wisconsin on BTN (@BTN_Wisconsin) November 22, 2014
6. Gordon trucks Western Illinois
We all know that Melvin Gordon didnâ€™t have his best game against Western Illinois. Hell, the Leathernecks were the only team to hold Gordon under 75 yards on the season.
However, he was not going to be denied the end zone in this contest…and boy was it a memorable TD.
5. Let the comeback begin against Nebraska
How do you get out of a 17-3 hole against a ranked Nebraska team? Let Melvin Gordon go off for another #MelvinMoment â€” thatâ€™s how. Wisconsin was down and nearly out, but one carry and 62 yards later and the Badgers were about to blow the doors off the Huskers.
Oh, and Gordon was on his way to a record-breaking day of his own.
ICYMI: Melvin Gordon leaped a defender & jumpstarted the @BadgerFootball offense on this 62-YD TD. #DQFanFavorite http://t.co/0z1vjCL150
— Wisconsin on BTN (@BTN_Wisconsin) November 16, 2014
4. Record breaking run against Nebraska
Itâ€™s doubtful that any Badger fan is going to forget the 2014 battle for the Freedom Trophy, and it has nothing to do with the introduction of a trophy. Instead, it has to do with Gordon going for 408 yards on the day.
We could pick just 10 runs from that game alone, but the run to break the record was about as picture perfect as it gets.
3. Gordon goes Madden against Bowling Green
Gordon has the speed, the power…and against Bowling Green he also apparently decided he was playing Madden back in his apartment too. In one of the most memorable first half performances of the season, Gordon capped off a 4-TD half with this Madden-like run from 27 yards out.
2. 51-yard TD run vs. Rutgers
The Badgers were up 20-0 at the half in rainy and crummy Piscataway, NJ and it appeared they were well on the way to an emphatic win over the second of two-straight against the Big Ten newcomers. Gordon made an emphatic exclamation point on the victory in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Only, he was never supposed to make the play that is our No. 2 moment. He was supposed to run the stretch and take what was given on the front side…Gordonâ€™s vision told him “screw that” and this was the result.
1. Gordonâ€™s 27-yard TD catch & hurdleÂ
Who says Melvin Gordon canâ€™t catch the football? With the Badgers up just 10-6 in the 2nd quarter at Purdue, Gordon produced easily his single-greatest play of the season, by catching a 27-yard wheel route out of the backfield and then taking a would-be defender to school at the goal line.
All of these moments make one realize just how special a season Gordon really had in 2014. All the numbers, all the awards and the trip to NYC for the Heisman Trophy ceremony wouldnâ€™t be possible without the moments weâ€™ve highlighted above.
The only question remaining â€” Is Melvin Gordon the best running back weâ€™ve ever seen at the University of Wisconsin?
Weâ€™ll let you answer that very question by going over to our Facebook page and voting in our poll over there.