So all the Melvin Gordon drama? We have an answer.
According to Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen, the Badgers' star running back was in fact injured — despite telling reporters after Saturday's loss to LSU that he wasn't — which is why he ran the ball just four times in the second half.
"A lot's been asked about the situation with Melvin," Andersen said. "Same thing I kind of said at halftime. The scenario was real simple at halftime, it was Melvin had a little bit of a hip flexor. Anybody that knows Melvin could see that on the long run that he broke out in the second half there. It was very obvious that he had pulled up there at the end of that run. We were trying to be smart with him as the rest of the game went on and trying to make educated decisions to keep us moving in the right direction with Melvin for that game, for the future.
"It was tough sledding for any running back that was in there at that point, so we didn't run the ball a lot in the second half, didn't have a lot of opportunities when it was three and out most of the time."
Gordon came out of the locker room and rushed for 54 yards on the first play from scrimmage of the second half. But he touched the ball just three more times over the last 30 minutes, which featured the Badgers collapse and blow a 17-point lead in a very disappointing loss.
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It makes sense that the Badgers wouldn't want to risk their Heisman hopeful running back injuring himself further with an entire season ahead of them.
But apparently some drama did exist. Andersen said after the game he didn't know why Gordon only had those four carries, and Gordon said he was fine. Andersen had this to say Monday:
"That's the problem. Melvin is going to say he's absolutely fine," he said. "This is where I get into a real problem. It's like everybody wants to get into the kid's personal business. It's hard for me to be able to deal with. If I'm off base, I'm off base. But all I can do is go by what a trainer tells me. And he's the professional. So if I put a kid in harm's way because I don't listen to a trainer, then I've got a major issue on my hands, I don't think I'm the person who I say I am. I'm going to listen to people, do what they ask of me. He gave me the information. He gave Coach (Thomas) Brown the information. And I don't quite frankly think it's anybody's business to pass that on to somebody after the game. But apparently it is because that's what I was told to do."
Monday, Gordon said he could've handled more carries.
“I still broke the big run,” Gordon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus. “I was still good.
“I felt it but I’m a competitor and I’ve played through way worse so I felt I was good.”
Whatever the whole story was, Gordon's second-half disappearance remains somewhat strange. Let's hope for the Badgers' sake that any injury isn't too serious.