More than two years since the Badgers blew a 17-point second-half lead, the former football coach and current UW athletic director still seems to be less than pleased over what took place at NRG Stadium in Houston. Among his biggest gripes, and certainly that of many fans, is how star tailback Melvin Gordon touched the ball just three times after breaking off a 63-yard run to start the third quarter.
“That game was close to being a blowout,” Alvarez told Ross Dellenger of The New Orleans Advocate. “Never did get an answer why Melvin Gordon didn’t play anymore after the first carry of the second half.
“There never was an answer. I saw him the next day and asked him if he was hurt and he said, ‘No.’ I still haven’t gotten an answer why.”
Following Gordon’s run to open the second half, he had 139 yards on 13 carries. He’d finish the game with 16 carries for 140 yards.
After the game, then head coach Gary Andersen said he didn’t know why Gordon didn’t get more carries, and though Gordon told the media he did injure his hip late in the first half, he was good to go. The following Monday, Andersen used the injury as his reasoning for Gordon’s lack of playing time, though the tailback maintained he was healthy enough to play.
Alvarez was also upset with a fake field goal that LSU ran in the third quarter that resulted in a first down on a drive they would later score on.
“They’ve been notorious for fake kicks,” Alvarez said. “They don’t make that fake kick, we get the ball at midfield and that’s going to be a laugher.”