Wisconsin's Ball, Zeitler earn All-American honors

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thursday, December 15, 2011
— Wisconsin junior tailback Montee Ball and senior guard Kevin Zeitler on Wednesday were named first-team All-Americans by The Associated Press.

Junior center Peter Konz, who missed UW's last three games because of an ankle injury, was a second-team pick.

Ball enters the Rose Bowl against Oregon fourth nationally in rushing yards per game (135.3) but first in rushing yards (1,759), rushing touchdowns (32) and total touchdowns (38).

He needs one touchdown to tie the NCAA record for touchdowns in a season. That mark was set in 1988 by Oklahoma State tailback Barry Sanders.

Sanders set the mark in 11 regular-season games and his five-touchdown performance against Wyoming in the Holiday Bowl did not count because the NCAA did not include post-season performances in season totals.

However, Ball has scored a touchdown every 7.8 time he has touched the ball this season. Sanders scored a touchdown every 9.7 touches in 11 regular-season games.

Ball finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the top running back in the nation.

Coincidentally, Oregon junior tailback LaMichael James was a second-team AP All-American. James leads the nation in rushing yards per game (149.6). He missed two games because of elbow injury, however, and is fourth in rushing yards (1,646).

Zeitler and Konz were key members on the line that opened holes for Ball and allowed UW to average 44.6 points per game, the No. 4 mark nationally.

Zeitler, from Wisconsin Lutheran High School, has started 35 games and played in 42 at UW.

Konz, from Neenah High School, is expected to return to the starting lineup in the Rose Bowl. He has started 30 games and played in 31 at UW.

Last updated: 7:06 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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