MADISON, Wis. — Unaware he was close to setting a record, Melvin Gordon took the handoff and did what he does best.
Wisconsin’s star running back burst through the hole, made a cut and high-stepped into the end zone, capping a memorable evening with an NCAA milestone.
Gordon rushed for a major college-record 408 yards and four touchdowns and the 22nd-ranked Badgers overcame three early turnovers to take control of the Big Ten West division with a 59-24 win Saturday over No. 11 Nebraska.
Gordon eclipsed the single-game mark held since 1999 by TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson by two yards, setting the new standard on a 26-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter and his last carry of the game.
“Yeah, I didn’t even know I was close to a record like that,” Gordon said. “I was just kind of running away.”
Outdueling Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah in a matchup of top tailbacks, Gordon had two fumbles before he helped the Badgers (8-2, 5-1, CFP No. 20) roar past Nebraska (8-2, 4-2, CFP No. 16) with 56 straight points.
The star junior torched what had been a staunch Nebraska defense on 25 carries and delivered an emphatic statement in the Heisman Trophy race.
“How about this guy? He’s the best of the best,” coach Gary Andersen said.
Abdullah finished with 69 yards on 18 attempts in a game billed in part as a footrace between Gordon and Abdullah for Heisman votes.
It ended up being Gordon by a landslide.
NO. 8 OHIO STATE 31, MINNESOTA 24: J.T. Barrett threw for three touchdowns and ran for an Ohio State quarterback-record 189 yards and another score, helping the Buckeyes overcome three turnovers and wintry weather.
Barrett completed 15 of 25 passes for 200 yards and one interception, another stellar performance for the freshman following last week’s rout of Michigan State.
NORTHWESTERN 43, NO. 15 NOTRE DAME 40, OT: In South Bend, Ind., Northwestern’s Jack Mitchell kicked a 45-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to force overtime and then kicked a 41-yard field goal for the upset.
The Wildcats closed to 40-37 with 4:10 left on a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Trevor Siemian and a two-point conversion on a run by Warren Long after Notre Dame (7-3, No. 18 CFP) was called for pass interference.
NO. 17 ARIZONA 27, WASHINGTON 26: In Tucson, Ariz., Casey Skowron kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give Arizona a wild victory over Washington.
Skowron, who also had an 18-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal, missed a first attempt wide right but the Huskies called timeout just before the kick and he got another try.
The kicker gained redemption after missing the go-ahead 36-yarder in the final minute of a loss to USC.
NO. 24 GEORGIA TECH 28, NO. 18 CLEMSON 6: In Atlanta, Georgia Tech’s Jamal Golden returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown, and fans rushed the field after the win.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson did not return after a first-quarter knee injury. Cole Stoudt threw three interceptions after replacing Watson, including one Chris Milton returned 62 yards for a touchdown.
With the loss by Clemson (7-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), No. 2 Florida State clinched the ACC’s Atlantic Division before playing Miami on Saturday night.
VIRGINIA TECH 17, NO. 19 DUKE 16: In Durham, N.C., Michael Brewer threw two touchdown passes and Virginia Tech held on for the upset.
Brewer was 12 of 23 for 138 yards with touchdowns of 15 yards to Hodges and 10 yards to Isaiah Ford.
The Hokies (5-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) avoided their first in-season four-game losing streak since 1992 and earned their second road victory over a ranked team this year.
Duke (8-2, 4-2) had two late chances to reclaim the lead, but Ross Martin missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:26 left and the Blue Devils were stopped on downs at their 40 with 43 seconds left.
Anthony Boone was 18 of 40 for 181 yards with two interceptions and Josh Snead scored the lone touchdown for the mistake-prone Blue Devils, who began the day alone atop the Coastal Division.
NO. 21 MARSHALL 41, RICE 14: In Huntington, W.Va., Rakeem Cato threw four touchdown passes, Devon Johnson rushed for 199 yards and a score as Marshall improved to 10-0 for the first time since it finished 13-0 in 1999.
The Thundering Herd (6-0 Conference USA) limited Rice to 180 yards and ended the Owls’ six-game winning streak.
Cato had scoring tosses of 2, 25, 30 and 7 yards to give him 117 for his career, surpassing Chad Pennington’s school record of 115 set from 1995-1999.
Rice (6-4, 4-2) entered the game allowing an average of only 135 yards on the ground, but Marshall had that matched by halftime. Johnson went over 100 yards for the eighth time this season since converting from tight end in preseason camp.