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Auburn vs. Wisconsin: Badgers hold off Tigers in Outback Bowl

The Badgers took the Tigers to overtime before the defense held and gave Wisconsin its first bowl win since 2009.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In an eventful, back-and-forth game with Barry Alvarez back on the sideline, Melvin Gordon and Rafaeal Gaglianone kept Wisconsin alive just long enough to outlast Auburn in a 34-31 win at the Outback Bowl on Thursday.

Gordon rushed for 251 yards (7.4 per carry) and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 6, 25 and 53 yards. Gaglianone nailed two field goals, a 29-yarder with seven seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 31-31 and the go-ahead 25-yarder in overtime.

The game wasn't necessarily pretty, as Joel Stave was quite Stave. The junior QB went 14-of-27 for 121 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, though to his credit, he had about three or four throws that kept the Badgers alive on their final couple of drives.

Especially framed in a win, it's easy to look past Stave's struggles with Gordon just looking so damn good in likely his final game at UW.

AUB vs. WIS TD 3Q WIS M. Gordon run for 53 yds for a TD, (R. Gaglianone KICK)

We'll have a few more Melvin Gordon retrospectives in the coming days. And, of course, we'll recap the whole season -- it was eventful, to say the least.

But now the Badgers have their first bowl win since 2009, and a real nice stepping stone for Paul Chryst.

Thank you, Barry.