Gordon, if you haven’t heard by now, went off against Nebraska Saturday, totaling 408 yards on the ground with four touchdowns as Wisconsin literally ran by the Cornhuskers on the way to a 59-24 win.
On ESPN Monday afternoon, Gordon spoke with Scott Van Pelt, with whom he did a “Bald Man on Campus” piece earlier this year for College Gameday, about the big day on the field.
Melvin Gordon speaks with a reporter following a record-breaking game against Nebraska – Jim Oxley photograph
After acknowledging that Gordon wasn’t one to brag about himself, SVP told Gordon, “You do what you did and it’s impossible to hide from the attention,” and asked if the matchup against fellow Heisman candidate Ameer Abdullah, who also happens to be a friend of Gordon’s, gave him any extra motivation heading into the game.
"“Definitely, it was a competition … we both understood that and we both knew all week, you know, we wanted to show who the best back was … I didn’t feel it was too fair, he was coming off an injury or whatever. I wanted him to be at 100 percent, I know he wasn’t, but that didn’t stop the drive, and we just both wanted to go out there and show who was the best back, and that kind of fueled me a little bit.”"
Gordon had racked up more than 200 yards by halftime against Nebraska, and in a 24-17 game at the break, knew he was going to get the ball in the second half.
"“I remember going in at the half and they showed at the screen that I was at like 200 and something … I knew I had another half left and it was a close game so I knew I would get a chance to get the ball and make some plays, but it was crazy when I actually got to 400, I didn’t know I would get there, it was just crazy, man.”"
Melvin Gordon celebrates with fellow running back Dare Ogunbowale following a fourth-quarter touchdown against Nebraska. Jim Oxley photograph
Get there he did, and with a 26-yard touchdown run to end the third quarter, Gordon hit the 408-yard mark, setting a new FBS record.
He would sit the rest of the fourth quarter as Corey Clement and later Dare Ogunbowale got the chance to take some carries, and SVP asked Gordon if he wished he could have gotten back in the game and racked up even more yards.
"“I like Dare getting in there, I like Corey getting his carries … I’ve been in their position before. When you’re up by a lot and you feel like there’s still time to go in there and make something happen, you’d be excited, and they have their families there and I wanted them to get in their and let their families see them play and make something happen.”"
Clement and Ogunbowale combined for 15 carries, 84 yards, and two touchdowns on the day, including a fourth-quarter score from Ogunbowale that got Gordon pumped up on the sidelines.
SVP later asked about the tweet Gordon received from LaDanian Tomlinson congratulating Gordon on breaking the record he had set in 1999, and Gordon explained the feelings he had seeing LT’s tweet on the jumbo-tron.
"“Great feeling, great feeling … Growing up I watched LaDanian Tomlinson play at San Diego, LTD they used to call him. I was a big fan, and to look up there on the big screen and see that he tweeted me, man I had to get on Twitter and say something back, it was just a great feeling, I felt so good.”"
SVP ended the interview by asking Gordon what a trip to New York as a Heisman finalist would mean to him.
"“It would mean a lot to me, to the whole Badger Nation, to my teammates, everyone, coaches, family, everyone, it would mean so much. I remember Montee (Ball) going there, and as a freshman coming in you kind of think, ‘what would it be like if that was me?’ You don’t dwell on it too much, but you think about it, coming is as a freshman, open eyes and seeing what he did, but it would be a great feeling, man, it would be unbelievable.”"
Later in the radio show, Van Pelt acknowledged Wisconsin’s struggles at quarterback, but said opponents should look out for one of the hottest teams in the counter.
"“Anybody, anybody, anybody, if you are asleep and you play Wisconsin, you do so at your own peril. Because they will pummel you. Their quarterback situation has been far from even competent most of the year, doesn’t matter. And if you don’t tackle Gordon at the line of scrimmage, they’re playing the fight song.”"
You can listen to the interview in its entirety here.