Nov. 21, 2011
• Ball's award resume with highlights
MADISON, Wis. -- Junior running back Montee Ball is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in the country. The announcement was made Monday on the Home Depot College Football Awards show nomination special on ESPNU.
This is the second-straight year a Wisconsin running back has been a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as John Clay earned the honor last year. Ron Dayne, the 1999 Doak Walker Award winner, is the only other finalist in UW history.
Ball leads the country with a Big Ten-record 30 touchdowns. He is just the fifth player in FBS history to score at least 30 TDs in a season and he has a chance to catch Barry Sanders’ NCAA record of 39. Ball’s career total of 52 touchdowns is just one behind Oregon’s LaMichael James among active FBS players.
With 1,466 rushing yards this year, Ball ranks second in the nation by just two yards. He has rushed for 25 touchdowns, a Wisconsin school record and just one off the Big Ten record. A three-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week this season, Ball is averaging 158.0 yards per game on the ground in league play.
Ball also leads the Big Ten in all-purpose yards at 154.5 per game. In addition to his rushing total, Ball has caught 16 passes for 233 yards and five touchdowns.
Ball has raised his game against the Badgers’ top competition. In three games against teams ranked among the top 16 in the country in total defense (Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois), he has averaged 141.3 rushing yards, 159.0 all-purpose yards and scored seven touchdowns (four rushing, three receiving).
The Doak Walker Award winner will be announced at the 2011 Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. CT. Alabama’s Trent Richardson and Oregon’s LaMichael James are the other two finalists.