By TOM LEA
MADISON – Just minutes after his offense struggled to score seven points and he struggled to topple the 60-yard rushing mark, senior tailback Montee Ball said he was more concerned with the fact his team lost than the fact his chances at the Heisman trophy — a personal goal of his — essentially slipped away inside Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.
“I’m not really worried about the Heisman at all,” Ball said. “We lost. That’s what I’m worried about right now. We lost this game and I’m really focusing on getting into the film room and winning the next one.”
Following Tuesday’s practice, Ball (47 carries, 181 yards, one touchdown) made it clear that the Heisman is something he still considers as a possibility.
“I’m a little frustrated,” he said. “That just motivates me. It took me five games last year to sneak in. We have 10 (games) left guaranteed.”
Ball started off slow a season ago as well, but the difference between his opening two games in 2011 and the two so far this season is the fact his touchdowns then (six) outnumber his touchdowns now (one).
He’s struggled to find any consistency with his rushing attempts through two games so far, ripping off a long of just 15 yards through two games.
When asked if he’s had a stretch where teams were able to take him out of the game like both Northern Iowa and Oregon State have earlier in his career, Ball didn’t hesitate to respond with an anecdote from a season ago.
He isn’t afraid to step up as a leader when times are tough.
“Last year against Ohio State and Michigan State,” he said. “That was a shocker for us when that happened. Then it happened again the next week against Ohio State. I didn’t have a great game. They held me to 80 yards. I had to deal with the same thing.
“I think I did a great job of it last year. I’m going to do the same thing I did last year for this year.”
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