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Sure, Wisconsin is losing quite a bit of power in its running game for 2013, but don't for one second think the Badgers won't be able to run it around, over and through nearly any defense in the nation come the fall. While Montee Ball is off to the NFL, Wisconsin is still left with a decent workhorse in returning senior James White, and the young Melvin Gordon has the look of a firework just waiting to go off.
Gordon opened quite a few eyes with his inexplicably unheralded freshman season in which he averaged over 10 yards per carry—tops in the FBS. And we're not talking three of four carries here with one going for 80 yards or some fluke of statistical averages.
No, Gordon had 62 carries in 2012, and he averaged over 10 yards per carry in September (five games, 12 carries), November (three games, 10 carries) and the postseason (two games, 18 carries). He was also better against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 (six games, 12.6 yards per carry) than against unranked opponents (eight games, 8.5 yards per carry).
And before you go thinking these numbers all came during Wisconsin's "junk reps" late in games, consider that Gordon averaged 13.0 yards per carry in the first half, but just 8.6 after the half.
Any player who can burst through any Big Ten line to reliably get his team four or five yards a carry deserves recognition as an explosive back. When that guy can get you 10 yards per carry, we need to invent a whole new word.