Carimi Wins the Outland Trophy

Following in the footsteps of All-Pro Joe Thomas, senior left tackle Gabe Carimi wins the Outland Trophy, given annually to the nation's top interior lineman.

MADISON - As he strode to the award podium in his bright red shirt, senior offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, seconds after hugging his parents, had a look on his face that could be described as overwhelming.

It wasn't because he became the 14th Big Ten player and second Wisconsin player to win the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best interior lineman since 1946. It was because he had to stand up and talk about it.

"It's pretty awkward actually," Carimi said.

It's been a big individual award season for a player that doesn't enjoy the individual attention, but Carimi's performance with his linemates screamed to be noticed.

Carimi was part of an offensive unit that led the Big Ten with 45.2 points and 242.2 rushing yards in conference games only. The Badgers are just the second team since at least 1936 to average more than 45 points in conference play after Penn State averaged 48.1 points per contest in 1994.

In all games, Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and is tied for fourth nationally with 43.3 points per outing while also ranking among the top 20 nationally in rushing offense (12th) and total offense (18th).

More importantly, No.4 Wisconsin (11-1) has one more game left, playing No.3 TCU in the Rose Bowl January 1 in Pasadena, Calif.

"It's truly a dream come true," Carimi said. "I just want to thank my whole Badger family because without them, I wouldn't be here right now."

Carimi, who was previously named the Big Ten's lineman of the year and an AFCA All-American, was named to the Walter Camp All-American team earlier in the evening.

With sweat beading down his forehead, Carimi also gave a shoutout to senior left guard John Moffitt, who started next to Carimi in 31 of the senior's 47 starts.

"I want to thank them for everything they have done for me," Carimi said. "I wouldn't want to take the field with anyone else. I love those guys."

All of Carimi's starts have come at left tackle as he replaced Joe Thomas, the only Outland Trophy winner in school history.

Other Badgers Come Up Short

D.J. Williams of Arkansas was the winner of the Mackey Award, given annually to the top tight end in the nation, beating out a group that included AFCA All-American and Wisconsin senior Lance Kendricks.

Williams has 49 receptions for 589 yards, 12.0 yards per reception, and four touchdowns in 12 games.

Kendricks leads UW in receptions (39), receiving yards (627) and touchdown receptions (five) despite having missed parts of three games (six quarters) because of injury.

Oregon tailback LaMichael James , who leads the nation with 152.9 rushing yards per game, won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top runner. UW's John Clay was one of the three finalists.

Auburn's Gene Chizik was named national coach of the year. Chizik led the Tigers to a 13-0 record and a berth in the BCS title game against Oregon. UW coach Bret Bielema was among the finalists.

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