Arizona State junior running back Kalen Ballage broke the school’s all-time single-game touchdown record with eight trips to the end zone on Saturday night against Texas Tech. Ballage becomes just the second player in FBS history to have eight touchdowns in a single game. His 48 points are tied for the most in a single-game by a non-kicker.
Ballage broke the Arizona State school mark in under three quarters of playing time, earning his sixth touchdown with just under a minute remaining in the third quarter. His sixth touchdown broke the tie with previous record-holder Ben Malone, who had set the mark against Oregon State in 1973.
Ballage picked up four rushing touchdowns in the first half alone, utilizing the team’s Wildcat package. He would break out the Wildcat again for the record-breaking run, which gave him more rushing touchdowns in the game against Texas Tech than he had all of last season.
He finished with 137 yards rushing on 13 carries with two receptions for 48 yards in the Sun Devil’s 68-55 win over the Red Raiders.
His sophomore season in 2015 was stunted due to a bout with mononucleosis and he would finish the season with just 653 rushing yards on 125 carries in addition to finding the end zone four times on the ground. Ballage carried the ball 10 times for 56 yards and a touchdown in the team’s Week 1 thwacking of Northern Arizona.
A former four-star running back/wide receiver combo player in high school out of Peyton, Colorado, Ballage committed to ASU for their 2014 recruiting class. Ranked as the No. 3 player in the state of Colorado, he had a plethora of offers from schools from around the country, such as: Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Oregon, and Boise State, whom he was connected to towards the end of his decision process.
Ballage is a member of the two-headed monster in the Arizona State backfield, alongside fellow junior Demario Richard. The two split carries with the 6’2″, 215-pound Ballage serving as head coach Todd Graham’s choice when the team enters the red zone.