Wisconsin Football's Top 10 Plays of 2014

By brookshooley

Wisconsin Football's Top 10 Plays of 2014

Wisconsin Badgers Football
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers were crowned division champions for the third time in four years in 2014, though they lost 59-0 to eventual national champion Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. It rebounded nicely to top Auburn in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day. Here are the ten best plays from the Badgers' last season.

10. Tanner McEvoy's Long Touchdown Run vs. Maryland

Tanner McEvoy Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

10. Tanner McEvoy's Long Touchdown Run vs. Maryland

Tanner McEvoy Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland barely fazed Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium. Melvin Gordon had already rushed for three touchdowns to help the Badgers build a 38-0 fourth-quarter lead. Head coach Gary Andersen inserted backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy into the lineup to begin the fourth quarter, and he did not disappoint. McEvoy broke a 60-yard touchdown run to add to the lead in Wisconsin’s 52-7 routing of the Terps.

9. Corey Clement's Long Touchdown Run vs. Illinois

Corey Clement Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

9. Corey Clement's Long Touchdown Run vs. Illinois

Corey Clement Wisconsin Badgers
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The Badgers fell behind early to Illinois at home 14-7, but ripped off 24 straight points heading into the fourth quarter. Backup running back Corey Clement was put into the game for Gordon in the fourth quarter and reeled off a 72-yard run just ten seconds in. The Badgers came away with a 38-28 victory.

8. Melvin Gordon's Touchdown Run vs. South Florida

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

8. Melvin Gordon's Touchdown Run vs. South Florida

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
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In a sloppy, slow-paced game, Wisconsin and South Florida were deadlocked at three going into halftime. Following a passionate halftime speech from Gordon, the Badgers came out of the locker room a completely different team. Gordon led the charge with back to back touchdown runs to begin the half, the second one coming from 43 yards out. Leading 17-3, the Badgers never looked back in the 27-10 victory.

7. Reggie Love's Touchdown Run vs. LSU

Reggie Love Wisconsin Badgers
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7. Reggie Love's Touchdown Run vs. LSU

Reggie Love Wisconsin Badgers
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin opened the season in Houston against LSU, and built a 17-7 halftime lead thanks in part to a 45-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Reggie Love to open the scoring. The Badgers led 24-7 late in the third quarter, but the lead faded down the stretch as LSU scored 21 unanswered points and left Houston with a 28-24 win.

6. Tanner McEvoy's Touchdown Run vs. Iowa

Tanner McEvoy Wisconsin Badgers
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6. Tanner McEvoy's Touchdown Run vs. Iowa

Tanner McEvoy Wisconsin Badgers
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawkeyes and Badgers traded field goals in the first quarter in Kinnick Stadium. Early in the second quarter, McEvoy finished off a seven-play 70-yard drive with a 45-yard touchdown run. Wisconsin led 9-3 after kicker Rafael Gaglianone missed the extra point. Iowa would get close a couple times, but Wisconsin escaped Iowa City 26-24.

5. Robert Wheelwright's Touchdown Reception vs. Minnesota

Robert Wheelwright Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Robert Wheelwright's Touchdown Reception vs. Minnesota

Robert Wheelwright Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin trailed Minnesota 17-3 in the early going, but the Badgers scored 17 straight to claim the lead in the third quarter. Gordon added a one-yard score to widen the lead, but Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner scored on the next drive to cut the lead to 27-24. Wide receiver Robert Wheelwright delivered the dagger, catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joel Stave to seal the 34-24 win and thus clinching the Big Ten West.

4. Melvin Gordon's Long Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4. Melvin Gordon's Long Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin fell behind its opponent yet again against Nebraska. Trailing 17-3 early in the second quarter, the Badgers needed offensive life fast. Gordon took a Stave handoff and outran the Huskers 62 yards for a crucial touchdown. This was only the beginning of the nightmare game for the Nebraska defense.

3. Melvin Gordon's Long Touchdown Run vs. Auburn

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Melvin Gordon's Long Touchdown Run vs. Auburn

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
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Wisconsin faced SEC West foe Auburn in the Outback Bowl. The Badgers gained an early lead, but Auburn built a 17-14 lead midway through the third quarter. As the quarter drew to a close, Gordon made the Tigers' defense look silly with a 53-yard touchdown run (his second of the day) to give Wisconsin a 21-17 lead.

2. Melvin Gordon's Record-Breaking Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2. Melvin Gordon's Record-Breaking Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Late in the third quarter against Nebraska, Wisconsin had the game well in hand. The Badgers led 52-17 and were running time off the clock. Melvin Gordon capped off the last Badger scoring drive with a 26-yard touchdown run, and in doing so set the single-game FBS rushing record with 408 rushing yards. Wisconsin won 59-24.

1. Rafael Gaglianone's Game-Winning Field Goal vs. Auburn

Rafael Gaglianone Wisconsin Badgers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Rafael Gaglianone's Game-Winning Field Goal vs. Auburn

Rafael Gaglianone Wisconsin Badgers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sixty minutes wasn't enough for the Badgers and Tigers in the Outback Bowl. Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne scored for Auburn with three minutes left to take a 31-28 lead, but the Badgers tied it with seven seconds left on a Gaglianone field goal. Gaglianone added another in overtime, and the Wisconsin defense forced Auburn to kick one as well. Tiger kicker Daniel Carlson missed the 45-yard kick, giving Wisconsin the huge bowl win.

Brooks Hooley is a Junior Big Ten Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brookshooley.

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