IOWA CITY, Ia. – Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon said the taunts started early and continued through the end of the game.
“I wanted to say something to them so bad,” Gordon said. “The jokes were kind of repeating themselves.”
Gordon, who entered Saturday’s game the nation’s fourth-leading rusher, got an earful from Iowa fans sitting close to the Wisconsin bench during the Badgers’ 28-9 victory at Kinnick Stadium. Gordon committed to Iowa as a high school senior, but signed with Wisconsin.
“They were saying I was committed at being uncommitted,” Gordon said. “Just saying jokes about me and James (White). The win shut them up a little bit.”
White, who was a high school teammate of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock, was also recruited by Iowa.
Gordon entered the game averaging 144.6 yards a game. White was tied for 29th nationally in rushing with 96 yards.
Iowa bottled up Gordon, who entered the game averaging 9.2 yards a carry. He finished with a season-low 62 yards in 17 carries (3.6-yard average). His only other sub-100-yard game this season came in a 31-24 loss at Ohio State, when he had 74 yards in 15 carries.
But White stepped up Saturday, going for 132 yards in 19 carries and scoring two touchdowns. Iowa had allowed just two rushing touchdowns all season, both by Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde in the Buckeyes’ 34-24 win two weeks ago. Hyde finished with 149 yards rushing in that game, and Braxton Miller added 102.
White joins them as the only players to crack 100 against the Hawkeye defense this season.
“James stepped up, and we needed him,” Gordon said.
Gordon said he heard chants of “traitor,” too, and it served as motivation.
“I fed off that,” Gordon said. “In the second half we came out pretty strong. And we have (the fans) to thank for that, too.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football