The Wisconsin Badgers’ most exciting player, running back Melvin Gordon, has been vocal about the fact that he’s not exactly excited to head back to Iowa to play the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium again in 2014. Of course Iowa was the team that he originally committed to before he changed his mind and bolted to Madison — and Hawkeye fans haven’t forgotten.
Last year, in the midst of a special season, Gordon had a tough time getting anything going at Iowa. He ran for only 62 yards, his lowest output of the year, and averaged an abysmal 3.6 yards-per-carry. Although the Badgers did win the game 28-9.
When asked about the second consecutive trip to Iowa at the Big Ten football meetings he said,
“I saw the schedule and I was like, really, we have to go back? I thought they would at least come here and get a little taste of Wisconsin. But I just have to be ready for it. I’ve been through it, so I know how to handle it this time. But I’ll probably bring some ear plus with me this time or something.”
Is Gordon setting himself up for an even tougher time at Kinnick Stadium in 2014? I mean, won’t Iowa fans bring the noise, an insults, at an even higher rate now that they know they got him off his game a year ago?
But he wasn’t done admitting that Iowa’s fans got in his head,
“It was a rough game for me, man,” Gordon said. “I didn’t play as well as I wanted to. But the fans, man, it’s like everything I said in high school about Iowa, they had a paper right there and quoted everything from me. I had such a hard time with Iowa, I’m telling you. Their fans, they really got to me. I was just so upset. I was just so mad that the Iowa fans got in my head that game.”
Based on these quotes I have to believe that if he thought Iowa fans were hard on him in 2013 — 2014 is going to be an utter onslaught. With that said, he’s a year older and more mature and seems to be ready to better handle it as a junior. Lets hope that’s the case anyway.
His comments aren’t unwarranted though. Iowa’s Stadium is quite the intimidating place to play though. It’s known as a historically difficult place for opposing teams to win due to its construction that gets the fans so close to the players. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner recently claimed it’s the toughest place to play in the Big Ten because of that reason alone.
Add in the fact that Wisconsin is a rival and Gordon de-committed from Iowa and you have the recipe for a disaster. I can understand why Gordon isn’t excited to head back, I just hope he can overcome it this year — unlike a year ago. Iowa fans undoubtedly have this game circled on their calendar. And their main target is none other than #25 himself.