PASADENA, California (WXOW) - When Stanford head coach David Shaw was asked what his biggest concern was heading into the Rose Bowl, he said, "He wears number 28," referring, of course, to Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.
Shaw added, "He's got great vision, great balance. He waits for the blocks to happen and then he explodes. You never see him get in body position. He doesn't turn the ball over. He doesn't sacrifice the good play to try to make the big play. He makes the plays he's supposed to make and then makes more. So for me, he's just one of those complete running backs that we have a lot of respect for."
Playing the role of Ball on the Stanford scout team has been Barry Sanders, son of NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders.
The younger Sanders said, "They told me that Montee likes to spin, so I've tried to implement that into my runs, but other than that, it's been pretty normal out there--hit the holes, and try to find openings."
Tuesday's Rose Bowl will be Ball's final time wearing a Wisconsin uniform.
"I'm cherishing every single minute with my teammates," Ball said. "Every single minute. In the game room, I'm rooming with James [White] and everything. This is the last time that I'll see everyone together. So, I'm making sure that I'm soaking it all in and cherishing every single opportunity that I'm going to have with each player."
In two Rose Bowl appearances, Ball has rushed for 296 yards and two touchdowns, but he has yet to be on the winning team. Ball and the Badgers hope to change that on January 1st.
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