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Seeing red: Gordon carries Cardinal to Spring Game win


Wisconsin Cardinal 21, White 10
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 10,479
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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
0 6 0 4 10
7 10 0 4 21
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: Melvin Gordon - 30 Car, 159 Yds, TD
 • Passing: Joel Stave - 14-25, 135 Yds, TD, Int
 • Receiving: Chase Hammond - 4 Rec, 48 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Jameson Wright - 7 Tkl, PBU
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
CAR 1:31 Hammond 7 TD pass from Stave
(French kick)
 Second Quarter
CAR 12:00 French 27 FG
WHT 12:00 LaPorte 22 FG
CAR 12:00 French 32 FG
WHT 12:00 LaPorte 27 FG
WHT 12:00 LaPorte 37 FG
CAR 12:00 French 37 FG
CAR 1:06 Gordon 2 TD run (French kick)
 Third Quarter
 No scoring
 Fourth Quarter
CAR 12:00 French 27 FG
WHT 12:00 LaPorte 27 FG
CAR 12:00 French 32 FG
WHT 12:00 LaPorte 32 FG
CAR 12:00 French 37 FG
CAR 12:00 French 42 FG
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April 28, 2012

MADISON, Wis. -- Melvin Gordon made the most of his opportunity Saturday.

With Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball held out and watching from the sidelines, Gordon took the reins as the Badgers' top participating running back and carried his Cardinal team to a 21-10 win over the White squad in the 2012 Wisconsin Football Spring Game.

That wasn't all Gordon carried, as he toted the ball 30 times on the day en route to racking up 159 yards and one of the Cardinal's two touchdowns.

 Fast Facts
• Gordon carries 30 times for 159 yards, touchdown
• Cardinal defense holds White offense scoreless
• French goes 7-for-8 on 'rapid-fire' field goals

With a group of running backs normally five deep trimmed down to three, head coach Bret Bielema was curious to see how Gordon would handle the added responsibilities.

"I will say that Thomas (Hammock) and myself wanted to see if Melvin could grind it out," Bielema said. "That's something I was happy to see. I almost think he got stronger as the day went on.

"I was really excited to see him handle the whole game."

Under center and calling the signals for Cardinal was redshirt Joel Stave, who completed 14-of-25 passes for 135 yards and connected with receiver Chase Hammond on a 7-yard touchdown strike the broke open the scoring in the first quarter.

The Stave-Hammond connection was an effective one for Cardinal early, as the two hooked up a total of three times for 37 yards in the first half. Hammond finished his day with four catches for 48 yards, including the catch of the day that saw him dive and extend to corral a ball that allowed Cardinal to convert a third-and-long.

Isaiah Williams was another favorite target of Stave's, as he hauled in four catches in the second half, including one of the longest plays of the day, a 29-yard catch down the sideline. Williams finished with five catches and a game-high 53 receiving yards.

The rapid-fire field goal sessions prior to the second and fourth quarters provided a chance for additional scoring, pitting Kyle French against Nicholis LaPorte. French kicked for Cardinal and was given one point for each of his conversions, while LaPorte kicked for White and earned two points for splitting the uprights.

The first kickoff between the two was a split decision, with French and LaPorte each converting 3-of-4 attempts. That led to a 10-6 lead for Cardinal as the second quarter got underway.

Gordon's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:06 to play in the opening half gave Cardinal a 17-6 cushion heading to halftime.

The kickers faced off again after a scoreless third quarter, with French going 4-for-4 prior to thes tart of the fourth period -- and then booting a bonus 52-yarder that didn't count in the scoring.

The Cardinal seemed poised to add to its lead in the late stages, with Stave directing a drive that brought his squad inside the White 10-yard line. An underthrown pass as he attempted to find Hammond on a slant derailed the drive, however, as Darius Feaster snagged an interception that served as the game's lone turnover.

The defensive efforts of the Cardinal team kept the White team's offense off the scoreboard.

Beau Allen was active up front in the first half, recording a pair of tackles and a sack before halftime on his way to tallying three tackles-for-loss on the day.

Redshirt junior A.J. Fenton was another terror in the White backfield, matching Allen with three TFLs of his own.

"I thought our defense played well besides a few busted plays," Bielema said. "There are a lot of young players. There are a lot of good players moving on, but I think we have a lot of good players coming back, as well as some young ones that will rise up and help us make a run for a third (Big Ten) title.

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