The Badgers' offense had a career outing on Saturday as the rushing attack broke several school records en route to a 68-17 victory for the Badgers over the Bowling Green Falcons.
The Badgers started out strong from the start, holding the Falcons to a three-and-out to start the game and then finding the end zone on their second offensive play from scrimmage off of a 24-yard run by Tanner McEvoy. The drive was set up by a 38-yard punt return by Kenzel Doe.
On the Badgers' next drive, Melvin Gordon lost his first career fumble as a Badger. The Falcons recovered and converted on the next play off of a 35-yard run by Fred Coppet.
The Badgers responded quickly with an 11 play, 70-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead. Corey Clement came in to rush for 22 yards during the drive, but it was Gordon who found the end zone with a two yard touchdown run.
After the Falcons converted on a 28-yard field goal to make the score 14-10, the Badgers were threatening to score again after a 40-yard run by Gordon put the Badgers near the red zone. But on the following play, McEvoy lost a fumble on the 28-yard line after a botched snap with center Dan Voltz.
The Badgers' defense buckled down on the next drive and forced another three-and-out. Doe clocked in his second big punt return of the game, this time taking it 40 yards down to the Bowling Green 34-yard line. On the next play, McEvoy found tight end Sam Arneson for a 34-yard touchdown to put the Badgers up 21-10.
On the next drive, the Falcons drove it into the red zone, but on third and goal from the Badgers' eight yard line senior linebacker Derek Landisch tipped a James Knapke pass that fell into the hands of freshman safety Lubern Figaro in the end zone.
Figaro returned the interception 43 yards to give the Badgers the ball with 12:16 to go in the second quarter. Three plays later, Gordon found the end zone for the second time of the game off of a 50-yard touchdown run to put the Badgers up 27-10 after a missed extra point.
Freshmen defensive ends Chikwe Obasih and Alec James helped get the ball back for the Badgers the ball back when Obasih stripped the ball from Knapke and James recovered the fumble on the 46-yard line. 11 plays later, Gordon scored his third touchdown of the game off of a three yard run to extend the lead to 34-10.
The Badgers scored their fourth touchdown of the second quarter with 0:18 remaining in the first half. The offense drove 68 yards in just over a minute, culminating with Gordon scoring his fourth touchdown of the game off of a 21-yard run to give the Badgers a 41-10 lead heading into halftime.
The rushing attack continued to shine in the second half, as Gordon exploded for a 69-yard touchdown on the second play of the half to give him his fifth touchdown of the game, tying the school record.
After the getting the ball back with 12:29 in the third quarter, the Badgers ran the ball four times for 87 yards, ending with a 13-yard touchdown run by Clement. The highlight of the drive was a 62-yard scramble by McEvoy, which put him over 100 yards for the game.
The Badgers didn't stop looking towards the ground game on their next drive as the offense drove 61 yards on 6 plays. The drive ended with Clement scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a one yard run to give the Badgers a 62-10 lead.
The Badgers' offense broke the school record for total rushing yards in a game to start the fourth quarter, as Dare Ogunbowale rushed for 10 yards to give the Badgers 569 total rushing yards. A 28-yard field goal by Rafael Gaglianone extended the Badgers' lead to 65-10.
On the following drive, the Badgers broke another school record, this time for total offensive yards in a game, eclipsing the previous record of 705 total yards which was set in 1999 in a 59-0 defeat over Indiana.
Gordon finished the game with 253 rushing yards (a career high) on only 13 carries, while also tying the school record with five rushing touchdowns (another career high). Tanner McEvoy went 9-for-16 in the game, throwing for 112 yards, one touchdown and an interception. McEvoy also added 158 yards on 11 carries with one rushing touchdown. Clement was the third rusher on Saturday to surpass 100 yards as he ran for 111 yards on 16 carries, with 2 rushing touchdowns. The offense finished with a school record 756 total yards on offense, and 644 yards on the ground (another school record).