April 17, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- The 23,567 spectators that took in Wisconsin football's 2010 spring game Saturday would probably say that the weather inside Camp Randall Stadium, while great for football, was a little on the breezy side.
Members of the Cardinal team, which scored a 33-11 win over the White squad said the wind had very little impact on the lack of offensive fireworks put on display in their victory.
Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien, senior tight end Lance Kendricks and sophomore running back Montee Ball all believed that Wisconsin's No. 1 offense did not put its best effort on display.
The winds, which whipped through Camp Randall at 20 mph and gusted to 30, were no excuse for the players.
"I think that we ran the ball a lot of times because we wanted to keep the defense honest," Ball explained. "We wanted to keep them on their toes. The wind definitely was not a factor, and myself and my teammates could have done a lot better out there today."
Although Ball finished with a game-high 75 rushing yards rushing and two touchdowns in the Cardinal win, his modest outlook on his own game leaves him searching for things to improve on for fall.
Seniors like Kendricks and Tolzien are not only looking for their younger teammates to make plays, but also want the underclassmen to become leaders, too.
They may have found such a leader in Ball.
Not only did the Wentzville, Mo., native finish second on the team with 391 yards rushing last fall, but his poise on and off the field in Saturday's spring game are exactly what Tolzien and Kendricks are looking for heading into their senior season.
"I think that Montee has what it takes to be a leader," Tolzien said. "I think that there are a lot of guys who have gotten a lot of game experience who need to step up. That starts by just leading by example."
Ball has already proven to his teammates and Badger fans that he has the ability to make large marks in the box score.
So, heading into the 2010 season, Ball just wants to keep proving to his teammates how much he cares.
"My role is to step in and to keep the offense going and be productive," Ball said. "I'm going to take it to heart and really try to make strides over the summer. I hope to be a leader coming into the fall, but like I said, I just want to stay productive in order to better the team."
Kendricks, who finished with a game-high 63 receiving yards, hopes that the team can learn from underclassmen like Ball.
"Hopefully we can all learn from our teammates who lead by example," Kendricks said. "Some players are vocal leaders and some players lead by what they do on the field.
"Hopefully our offensive can learn from our mistakes today and more players can lead the team from here on out."