Heisman Candidates Match Up

Every year there are dozens of guys that get called Heisman candidates and this year is no different than any other.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have had their share of Heisman Trophy winners with Johnny Rodgers in 1972, Mike Rozier in 1983, and Eric Crouch in 2001. johnny rodgers

Ameer Abdullah has been promoted as the latest possibility to take home the coveted trophy.

Abdullah had over 1,200 yards rushing coming into the Nebraska Cornhuskers game against the Wisconsin Badgers. Plus, he had over 4,200 career yards and 37 Touchdowns.

He definitely belongs on any Heisman Trophy watch lists. Ameer Abdullah is a 5-8, 195 Running Back from Homewood, Alabama. He is super quick and explosive and can change direction in an instant. He’s also compact and strongly built and can run inside and out equally well. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield which saved the Huskers from a possible earlier embarrassing loss at the beginning of the year.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were 8-1 when they made their way into Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers.

Their opponents were tied with the Huskers for the lead and 7-2 overall.

Plus, the Wisconsin Badgers have their own Heisman Trophy contender and he is a great one. Melvin Gordon led the nation in rushing coming into this game. The 6-1, 210 Running Back from Kenosha, Wisconsin had around 1,500 yards coming into this game plus over 3,800 career yards.

He is also very explosive and quick. He hits his holes very quickly and when there are no holes, he creates his own.

As evidence of his explosiveness is his 8 yard per carry career average.

We had 2 of the better Running Backs in the country, both of them Heisman Candidates at one level or another, going head to head against one another.

What did result was one of the better shows in college football history.

Unfortunately, for Nebraska, the show was all on the Wisconsin side of the ball.

The difference in this game may have once again been the defense. Old school football fans can’t preach this enough, but defense still wins championships.

Wisconsin has the number 1 defense in the entire country, and Nebraska is middle of the road

defensively.

The Badger defense held Nebraska Running Back Ameer Abdullah to 69 yards rushing on 18 carries and he fumbled a couple of times as well mostly because of the aggressiveness of the Badger defense. Not all of the fumbles were his fault as he missed a connection with Nebraska Quarterback Tommy Armstrong and they laid the ball on the ground yet again.

On the other side of the field, Melvin Gordon had the best day that any Running Back has ever had in the history of college football. Gordon broke the great LaDanian Tomlinson’s incredible 406 yard

Bo Pelini doing his Will Muschamp

rushing record which he established in 1999 against UTEP. Not to diminish the record by Tomlinson, but Gordon broke his record against a pretty good team.

Nebraska is not really a chump team. On their defensive line, they have Randy Gregory who will be a really high draft pick when he decides that he has had enough of playing college ball. Gregory is a 6-6, 240 Defensive End that can supposedly run the 40 in the 4.4s. That is freakish and something along the lines of a Jadeveon Clowney, except that Clowney is a lot bigger at 275.

Gregory was ineffective in this game and another outstanding facet of the Wisconsin Badgers team is their Offensive Line which should be considered one of the nation’s very best.

Melvin Gordon dominated this game running for 408 yards on 25 carries for an astounding 16.3 yards per carry. Gordon wound up with 4 Touchdowns, but another was called back due to a penalty.

Gordon never played past the 3rd quarter. He had 238 yards rushing in the 1st half and then 170 yards in the 3rd quarter.

Melvin Gordon is up to 1,909 yards and 23 Touchdowns for the 2014 season with 2 games and a possible title game, plus a bowl game remaining. The man is having an incredible season.

 

Marcus Mariota is the favorite right now in the Heisman race, but Melvin Gordon should be highly considered by any voters. Gordon is up to 4,237 career yards and 39 Touchdowns and this is his first full year to start for the Badgers. Last season, he split time with incumbent Running Back James White who currently plays for the New England Patriots.

Another incredible thing about Gordon and his numbers this season is that the Badgers have hardly anything that even slightly resembles a passing game. Tanner McEvoy is an incredible athlete at Quarterback and can run like the Vince Young, Cam Newton sort of players, but he is below average as a passer and he played safety last season. McEvoy is 6-6, 225 which is explains why I compared his running ability to Young and Newton. He has run for right at 500 yards in part time duties. The other Quarterback is the returning starter from last season, Joel Stave, and he is much less mobile than McEvoy. He is a slightly better passer.

Biggest problem for both Quarterbacks is a lack of highly skilled Wide Receivers on this Badger team. Last year’s star Wide Receiver star, Jared Abbrederis, is playing for the Green Bay Packers and they had nobody really talented to replace him. Their top Wide Receiver is Alex Erickson, but he is more of a possession type guy that can’t stretch the field.

The Wisconsin Badgers beat up the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 59 to 24, to take control of the Big 10 West.

Of all the aspects of Melvin Gordon’s character, the one detail that impressed me the most was during the 4th quarter when Gordon was no longer playing. The Badger 3rd team Running Back, Dare Ogunbowale, was in the game. The 3rd team Running Back ran for 62 yards on 10 carries. But, when Ogunbowale scored from 8 yards out, nobody celebrated more, or harder, or louder than no other than magnificent Running Back Melvin Gordon.

 

The Wisconsin Badger fans at Camp Randall Stadium are as loud and as faithful to their team as any fan base in the country. Anybody can sit out there in 70 degree weather and yell. Try doing that in 20 degrees and a heavy snowfall coming down. These fans were on their feet and jumping up and down and yelling in the 4th quarter when the game was basically over.

That was a very impressive sight.

 

Melvin Gordon for the Heisman.

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