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Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage leaves with knee injury

Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Kalen Ballage left Saturday night’s game against the California Golden Bears with a left knee injury. After being helped off the field, he was further examined on the sideline and had an ice bag taped to his left leg.

It was earlier this season that Ballage made national headlines when he eight touchdowns in one game against Texas Tech, tying the FBS all-time record. That feat became a new Arizona State record, but Ballage has stayed a member of a two-back tandem for the Sun Devils, alongside Demario Richard.

Ballage is a former four-star athlete recruit out of Peyton, Colorado. Rated as the No. 3 player in the state of Colorado in the 2014 recruiting class (with Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey being No. 1), he had a litany of offers that included Boise State, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Oregon, but chose to sign on with the Sun Devils.

He played sparingly as a freshman in 2014, getting 42 carries and finding the end zone three times, but his role expanded as a sophomore last season. He carried the ball 125 times for 653 yards and got four touchdowns. Having had the eight-touchdown game earlier this season, he blew his career-highs out of the water, but entering Saturday, he has taken roughly a quarter of his carries across the goal line.

Should Ballage miss any significant time, the onus would fall on junior Demario Richard, who works in tandem with Ballage in the ASU backfield.

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