As we hit the 100-day mark until the beginning of college football, people everywhere are reliving past performances, biggest moments from recent seasons, and predicting what they expect will happen this season. ESPN Thursday published a “by the numbers” list of 100 numbers to know for the 100 day countdown to college football’s opening day, and it contains a couple of impressive feats by former Wisconsin running backs Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon.
As the “by the numbers” segment works its way from 1 to 100, two impressive feats by the current NFL players are listed.
First up was Montee Ball at No. 77:
"“77. Montee on the ball: Wisconsin’s Montee Ball scored 77 touchdowns in his career, the most by an FBS player.”"
Ball had an incredible career at UW and excelled at finding the end zone. His 77 total rushing touchdowns — an FBS record as pointed out by ESPN — is an even more impressive feat when you consider he scored just four times his freshman season.
He added 18 touchdowns on the ground his sophomore season in 2010, totaled 33 in 2011, and added 22 more as a senior in 2012 to hit the number 77.
Looking back at his 2011 season brings back memories of an unstoppable force who added six receiving touchdowns to those 33, totaling 39 touchdowns and more than 1,900 yards on the ground.
Just a few stops down the line on ESPN’s list past Ball’s record number of touchdowns sits another touchdown stat that is equally as impressive.
"“91. Gordon’s production: Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon rushed for more touchdowns (29) than 91 teams did last season. He set the Big Ten record for rushing yards in a season (2,587).”"
Think about that for a second. Gordon had more rushing touchdowns by himself last year than 91 college football TEAMS.
Gordon was a monster last year, and scored those 29 touchdowns despite sitting out the final quarter of several games and playing with an above-average backup who carried the ball for nearly 1,000 yards.
It was truly a season to remember for the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
Wisconsin’s running backs certainly have big shoes to fill, and while no one expects Corey Clement to duplicate the success earned by Gordon and Ball, don’t be surprised to see Clement put up big-time numbers this season.