Making history




Nov. 28, 2012

MADISON, WIS. -- This was a big week for Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball. On Saturday, he broke the NCAA career record for touchdowns by scoring the 79th of his career on a 17-yard run at Penn State. On Monday, the Big Ten announced that he was voted a consensus first-team all-league choice and named the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.

Two days later, Ball again is making history by being named to the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team. As one of two repeat selections from a year ago, Ball is now the only Wisconsin player to ever be named to the AFCA’s first team twice in his career. The list of AFCA All-American’s is long and illustrious and includes names like Pat Richter, Ron Dayne, Jamar Fletcher and Joe Thomas. But none of those players was ever honored twice.

A Doak Walker Award finalist for the second-straight season, Ball has rushed for 1,528 yards and 18 touchdowns. He joins Dayne as the only Badger players to rush for more than 1,500 yards twice in a career. His 18 TDs are tied for fifth-most in school history. Ball led the Big Ten in rushing and scoring during conference play, becoming the first player to lead the Big Ten in scoring in three consecutive seasons since at least 1939.

Notorious for his strong finishes, Ball is averaging 153.6 yards per game since Oct. 1, good for second-best in the country. He also ranks third in the country among BCS running backs in yards after contact with 732.

Ball will try to make history one last time, by leading the Badgers to their third-consecutive Big Ten title. Wisconsin has never won three straight Big Ten championships nor advanced to the Rose Bowl three years in a row. The last Big Ten team to make three straight trips to the Rose Bowl was Michigan in 1977-79.

UW will face Nebraska at 7 p.m. CT in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this Saturday. The game will be televised by FOX.

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