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MADISON — Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball has made history, tying the all-time NCAA FBS career touchdown record.
Ball scored his 78th career touchdown Saturday on a 7-yard run up the middle with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter against Ohio State at Camp Randall Stadium to trim Wisconsin's deficit to 14-7. He joins Travis Prentice from Miami (Ohio) atop the list. Prentice established the mark in 1999.
Last season, Ball produced one of the finest seasons by any running back in FBS history, when he rushed for 1,923 yards and scored 39 total touchdowns to tie Barry Sanders' single-season scoring mark. As a result, he earned a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Ball announced in January his decision to return to Wisconsin for his senior year, but the first two months of the season did not go as planned. He suffered a concussion when he was assaulted by five men while walking back to his apartment during the early morning hours of Aug. 1 and was held out of full-contact drills during fall camp. Ball then struggled during the Badgers' first four games to find a rhythm.
After four games, he had scored just three touchdowns and needed 14 more to tie the all-time record. But during Big Ten play, Ball returned to his 2011 form, rushing for 866 yards and 13 touchdowns to set himself up for a shot at the record against undefeated Ohio State.