Andersen Named New Badger Football Coach


Led Utah State to record-breaking season in 2012

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced Thursday that Gary Andersen has been hired as the Badgers’ head football coach.

Andersen becomes the 29 th head coach in Wisconsin football history. He spent the previous four seasons as the head coach at Utah State, leading the Aggies to a 26-24 record. In 2012, Utah State had the most successful season in school history, winning a school-record 11 games, going undefeated in the WAC and capturing its first outright league title since 1936. The Aggies defeated Toledo, 41-15, to win the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Ball Wins Doak Walker Award


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Montee Ball will finish his college career on top of a number of lists in the record books. He’ll also finish it on top of the list of the nation’s top running backs.

The Wisconsin senior was named the best running back in college football Thursday when he was presented with the Doak Walker Award during The Home Depot College Football Awards at Walt Disney World. He also was named to the Walter Camp All-America team for the second-consecutive season.

Ball finished ahead of fellow Doak Walker finalists Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA for the honor, which has been presented to the nation’s most outstanding running back each year since 1989.

A finalist for the second-consecutive season, Ball becomes Wisconsin’s second Doak Walker Award winner, joining 1999 winner Ron Dayne.

He is the sixth Big Ten player to earn the award, and the first since Iowa’s Shonn Greene in 2008.

Wisconsin has boasted a Doak Walker finalist each of the last three seasons, with John Clay earning a finalist nod in 2010 before Ball’s back-to-back nominations. UW has had eight Doak Walker semifinalists over the past 15 seasons.

Ball is the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 82 and also holds the NCAA career record for rushing touchdowns with 76. He ranks in a tie for fourth all-time among Big Ten players with 5,040 career rushing yards and became the 17th player in FBS history to surpass 5,000 yards.

Ball has rushed for 200-plus yards four times in his career and has 25 100-yard rushing games to his credit, including nine this season. He ranks third nationally this season with 1,730 rushing yards and ranks in a tie for fourth with 21 rushing touchdowns.

The two-time defending Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award winner, Ball led the Big Ten in rushing and scoring during conference play to become the first player to lead the league in scoring in three consecutive seasons since at least 1939.

Named the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP for his three-touchdown performance in UW’s 70-31 win over Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game, Ball is a finalist for the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football award for the second-consecutive year. He won the award presented annually to the Big Ten’s MVP last season.

Ball will be honored at the 2012 Doak Walker Award Banquet on Feb. 15 in Dallas.

Ball Named as Doak Walker Finalist


College football’s all-time leading scorer one of three running backs chosen

MADISON, WI – Last Saturday, he became college football’s all-time leading scorer. Next Saturday, he can break the NCAA career record for touchdowns scored. On Dec. 1, he has the opportunity to make history by leading the Badgers to their third-straight trip to the Rose Bowl. And now, on Dec. 6, Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball can become just the second UW running back to win the Doak Walker Award.

On Thursday, Ball was named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in the country since 1990. It is the second-straight year Ball has been voted a finalist and earned a trip to The Home Depot College Football Awards show in Orlando, Fla. This year’s show will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. CT from the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World and be broadcast by ESPN.

Ball joins Oregon’s Kenjon Barner and UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin as finalists this year. He is the third Badger to be named a Doak Walker Award finalist, joining Ron Dayne and John Clay. Dayne, the only other Badger to be a finalist twice, won the award in 1999.

Ball is currently sixth in the country among running backs in rushing yards (1,417) and rushing TDs (17). He leads the Big Ten in both categories. He also ranks third among players in BCS conferences in yards after contact with 648. With an unparalleled combination of strength and speed, Ball is also sixth in the country among running backs with 41 runs of at least 10 yards this season.

Ball traditionally has gotten stronger as the season has progressed and this year is no different. His 964 rushing yards and 160.7 rushing yards per game since Oct. 1 are both third-best among RBs in the country. Over the last three seasons, Wisconsin has played 13 games after Nov. 1. Ball is averaging 172.0 rushing yards and has scored 34 touchdowns in those games. The Badgers finish the regular season at Penn State on Saturday then play either Nebraska or Michigan in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.

Ball has rushed for at least 166 yards in four of his last five games, including 191 last week vs. No. 6 Ohio State. He is the first player to rush for 190 yards against Ohio State since Eric McCoo (Penn State) had 211 yards on Oct. 16, 1999. The Buckeyes entered the game giving up an average of 107.9 yards per game on the ground. Ball had 112 in the first half.

Ball’s 1,057 rushing yards in Big Ten play (151.0 yards per game) are 268 more than Northwestern’s Venric Mark, who is in second place. Ball is on pace to become just the seventh player in Big Ten history (and third Badger – Alan Ameche in 1951-52 and Dayne in 1998-99) to lead the conference in rushing yards in league games in two straight seasons (league records date back to 1939). According to the STATS database, which goes back to 1996, no player has averaged at least 150.0 rushing yards per game in Big Ten games in consecutive seasons. Ball averaged 157.8 yards per game in league play last year.

Against Ohio State last Saturday, Ball scored his 78th career touchdown, tying him with Travis Prentice (Miami, Ohio) for the all-time NCAA career lead. Adding his two-point conversion last year vs. the Buckeyes, Ball has now scored 470 points in his career, best in FBS history. The average length of Ball’s TDs in his career is 10.8 yards, while his 72 rushing TDs have averaged 11.1 yards.

== Courtesy of UW Football Media Relations

3 Things to Watch For vs Utah St

Badgers face a very good Utah St Aggies team tonight… I’m not joking, it’s true

This Badgers football season has not gotten off the start the Badgers or their fans were expecting thus far.  Many people (including me) have called for Joel Stave to get a shot to run the offense, while this may happen if things continue to go as they have to this point, right now we all still have to wait and give

“Matt Canada needs to be more creative calling the offense, simple as that”

Danny O’Brien a chance to get acclimated with this offense. The issue with that right now is I could run the offense that Matt Canada is running.  The fact is there needs to be more creativity with the play calling, I have no problem with running Montee a ton, but change it up, pass on 1st down for once.  Run in between the tackles, Badgers OL is big use that to your advantage and stop trying to run outside.  Never the less, the season for the Badgers starts all over tonight and in order to get love from the nation and the fans again Bucky needs a blow out victory, but that won’t come easy as Utah St comes in 2-0 and coming off a win over in state rival Utah.  The Aggies are a legit team, that sounds weird because they are not known, but this team plays very good “D” as they’ve given up just 11.5 points per game and less than 300 yards a game.  The offense is no joke either as sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton is a very good QB and the best UW will see so far this season, he ranks in the top 10 in pass efficiency and averages over 300 yards a game.  The Badgers should win, but then again they should have blown out an overmatched UNI team and should have beat an Oregon St team on the road, so this year nothing is certain and this is the best team UW will face so far this year as they’ve not yet cracked the top 25 but are in the same area as UW in the “receiving votes” section of the AP poll.  That leads me to the 3 things we need to see from this team tonight to give us some hope going forward.

1. SCORE EARLY (and often):  The Badgers have yet to score a Touchdown in the 1st quarter yet this season… yes that is correct, and to make it worse the Badgers have scored just 3 points in the 1st quarter, and to think they’ve played UNI and Oregon St, that has to be a cause for concern.  This week it won’t be easy as they face a very solid Utah St “D”.  No matter who they face the fact is this offense has been dreadful through the first 8 quarters of the season and really need more creativity on offense and find some sort of rhythm today.  My guess is they will get their first TD in the first quarter today, but the fact I’m saying that in week 3 worries me.  Not only do they need a first quarter TD today, they need more TD’s period, Wisconsin enters today’s game with just 3 TD’s to date.  Here’s hoping Matt Canada gets a little creative today and finds a way to get this offense rolling.

2. CONVERT BETTER ON 3rd down:  While 36% isn’t the worst % for 3rd down conversion, it’s not acceptable.  The Badgers have always been a very solid 3rd down team because Paul Chryst would use creativity to make sure the Badgers were always in 3rd and manageable.  The key to being in 3rd in 4 or 5 is the “D” has no idea what UW might do, this season it seems pretty clear the idea of running on 1st and 2nd down every time isn’t working as the Badgers have been in 3rd and long way too much.  Wisconsin was 2-16 a week on third down, that’s how you lose when you only give up 10 points.  Again you can blame Danny O’Brien if you want because there is no question he deserves the criticism he might be getting, he dumps it down to the check off way too much, and doesn’t look down the field, that could also be the blame of the TE’s and WR’s, but in the end Matt Canada needs to figure out a way to cut the average of 3rd and 7 down to 3rd and 4 or more importantly cut down the 3rd downs period and start getting some first downs on without getting to 3rd down.  Let the theme of this article continue by saying let’s hope Canada finds a way to be more creative tonight.

3. GET PRESSURE ON THE QB:  Okay we’ll get off the offense’s back here for the last thing to watch for today as we focus on the “D”.  Last week Wisconsin played awesome on defense, and played pretty good against UNI, the one glaring issue to this point is no pressure on the QB, at least a lack of consistent pass rush.  Today that will be needed as Utah St throws early and often, and it’s a very good pass offense so the Badgers front 4 needs to find a way to get sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton.  Keeton ranks in the top 10 in the nation in pass efficiency and Chuckie has averaged over 300 yards per game.  The back 7 will need some help tonight and the front 4 needs to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.  The Badgers are stopping the run very well, but tonight that won’t be all that important, it’s the 88th (nationally) ranked pass defense that will be tested and for this game to go the Badgers way the “D” will need to get to the QB.

If the Badgers can improve in these three areas the Badgers will get back on track tonight and all Badger Nation can take a sigh of relief and take a step away from the ledge.  If not and the Aggies come in to the “Camp” and pull off the upset there will be way more heat put on Bielema, O’Brien, and Canada.  I’m still thinking this Badger team will be very good and will still win their division, but another performance like last week be sure to check back here because like in the past we don’t hold back, we don’t sugar coat anything we tell you like it is.

— Badger Sports Beat —

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