MADISON, Wi (WSAU) Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada says he’s got quite a juggling act in getting the most from his three top running backs. He’s trying to give Montee Ball, James White, and Melvin Gordon a chance to make contributions without cooling off a hot rusher, or disrupting the total offense.
The Wisconsin running backs had a slow start in the first half on Sunday – but the blocking improved, and they combined for 177 yards in the Badgers’ 31-to-14 home win over Illinois. Ball had 116 yards and a pair of late touchdowns. White had 42 yards, and Gordon 15. White also caught a 62-yard scoring pass from quarterback Joel Stave.
The senior Ball now has 59 career touchdowns, nine short of the N-C-A-A record. Canada says it’s hard to give Ball, White, and Gordon their proper playing time – and the game plans dictate the situations.
Head coach Bret Bielema says he hears no grumbling from the backs, and they all believe in winning. The Badgers evened their Big Ten record at 1-and-1, and they’re 4-and-2 overall. They’ll play at Purdue next Saturday.