Post-Week 12 Heisman Trophy Watch: Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper Rise

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Nov 15, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 59-24. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Melvin Gordon, Running Back, Wisconsin Badgers (8-2, 5-1 in Big Ten)

Last Game: 25 Carries for 408 Yards (16.3 YPC) and 4 Touchdowns (Defeated Nebraska Cornhuskers 59-24)

For 2014 Season: 223 Carries for 1,909 Yards (8.6 YPC), 11 Receptions for 83 Yards, 25 Total Touchdowns

While it’s true that Wisconsin is not in the national championship race anymore, that can’t be an elimination from the top spot when you have the numbers Melvin Gordon has at running back right now.

This running back has been dominant all year despite having no passing game helping it out and technically being a by-committee starter with Corey Clement. But Saturday took it to another level.

A 408-yard rushing game that could have been more doesn’t need to be analyzed too much. But think about the fact that Gordon only carried it 25 times. He averaged 16.3 yards per carry against a Nebraska defense that’s not that bad.

In fact, most of the Big Ten rush defenses are pretty decent. This isn’t the Pac-12. But Gordon is running over all of them.

He now has four 200-yard games, including the 408-yard game, and has a 5-touchdown game and a 4-touchdown game. He also is more than 200 yards ahead of the second leading rusher in the NCAA, Tevin Coleman.

What stands out, though, is Gordon came through in the biggest moment. Nebraska was a College Football Playoff contender and looking to win the Big Ten West. In a game to determine the winner of that division, Gordon flat-out dominated. And while Wisconsin isn’t playing for any national championship, they are certainly playing for the Big Ten championship, and that should count for something.

For that, we have put Melvin Gordon on top of our Heisman Trophy Watch list this week.

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