Notebook: Rose Bowl media day

Wisconsin makes tweaks to its uniform for Rose Bowl, while Oregon's changes are anything but subtle.

LOS ANGELES – Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is on the verge of shattering one of the great records in college football history.

That is, if you can get past the asterisk.

The junior has scored 38 touchdowns this season, putting him one behind Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 39. But Ball will play in 14 games this season, including the inaugural Big Ten championship game and Monday's Rose Bowl.

Sanders set the mark in just 11 games at Oklahoma State in 1988, but his five rushing touchdowns in the Holiday Bowl don't count because bowl stats were not included in single-season records until 2002.

"It's an honor in itself," Ball said. "I tweet back and forth to Barry Sanders and I'm just shocked every time I'm talking to him."

As for the inevitable objections that Sanders is the true record holder regardless, Ball is just fine with it.

"It is what it is," he said. "It's just an honor to be in the same sentence with him. If I don't break it, I'll be totally fine. What he did was obviously outstanding.

"I thank him for setting the bar so high."

It's been a remarkable year for Ball, who came into the season battling sophomore James White just to start for the Badgers. It wasn't until the conference opener against Nebraska that Ball took hold of the job, rushing for 151 yards and four touchdowns.

"Coming in I thought I'd have a pretty good season, but not like the stats I was going to put up," he said. "If you told me early on in the season, I wouldn't have believed you. I'm just sharing the credit with my teammates and having a great time honestly."

Duck Tales
To say Oregon has had an eventful week in Southern California would be a dramatic understatement.

LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner became Internet sensations after pictures of the running backs looking scared riding roller coasters during the annual visit to Disneyland went viral.

James swears they were exaggerating.

"We were just playing," he said. "It's all fun, me and Kenjon were just kind of messing around. That's going to be a memory for the rest of our life."

Offensive lineman Mark Asper made headlines by performing the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking during the Lawry's Beef Bowl on Wednesday.

But the week started with nine players trapped in an elevator at the team hotel, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.

Defensive end Dion Jordan and linebacker Josh Kaddu were among those stuck for more than two hours, a fate quarterback Darron Thomas was glad to avoid.

"We've really been in survival mode," Thomas said of the trip.

Haute Couture
Both Oregon and Wisconsin will wear special jerseys and helmets for the occasion.

The Badgers' road whites are accented by a floral pattern in its numbers, names, stripes and W on the helmet, a subtle change that even some players didn't detect at first.

"They are secretly special," safety Shelton Johnson said. "I mean I just noticed myself honestly. When they pulled the jerseys out, I was like, ‘I thought we were supposed to get new jerseys.' You got to be pretty close to realize they are any different. It's a fun change."

The Ducks' uniforms are, well, anything but understated. Likely to draw the most notice are new chrome helmets.

Wisconsin wide receiver Kenzel Doe was certainly impressed.

"I went on the Internet the other day and saw theirs," he said. "I was like, ‘Man, them things look good.'"

"There ain't too much you can do with white jerseys," Doe added.


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