Two of the Big Ten's best running backs will be on the field when Wisconsin and No. 14 Nebraska meet in Saturday night's conference championship game.
Wisconsin's Montee Ball has been at his best lately after a slow start.
Nebraska's Rex Burkhead is running strong after missing a month with an aggravated knee sprain.
The two have long admired and learned from each other.
Burkhead said he's studied tape of Ball to cull tips on how to better use his blockers and to see how Ball patiently waits for a hole to open and attacks it.
Ball said he tries to emulate Burkhead's toughness and relentlessness.
''That man, he's a very physical running back,'' Ball said. ''He doesn't shy away from contact. I believe he loves contact. He loves to deliver the blow to defenders. What I take from him is, don't shy from contact and keep your feet churning.''
Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist after rushing for 1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns last season, this week earned first-team All-Big Ten honors f...