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ASU RB Kalen Ballage has big expectations for 2016

Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage runs for touchdown against Colorado in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
LISTEN: Kalen Ballage, ASU Running Back

Arizona State junior running back Kalen Ballage would like to help ASU improve following a 6-7 2015 season and having a big year individually would go a long way toward making that happen.

“I’m going to let things come to me,” Ballage told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I have big expectations but I don’t have any numbers. I just want this team to be successful. I think that will involve me having a successful season individually but I don’t really bank on my individual goals.”

Ballage was asked about the possibility of both he and fellow Sun Devil running back Demario Richard each running for 1,000 yards this season, a feat that hasn’t been achieved for ASU since 1973 by Woody Green and Benny Malone. Ballage doesn’t think the idea of hitting the milestone is far-fetched.

Last season, Ballage ran for 653 yards while Richard tallied 1,103. Athlon Sports ranked the duo in at fourth in Pac-12 tandems.

“I think it’s very capable for both of us to do,” Ballage said. “The individual goals don’t really matter to us, as long as we’re winning football games. That would be a great milestone for us to reach. If winning requires us to do that then that’s the direction we’ll go in.”

ASU begins its season at home against Northern Arizona on Saturday night. With new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, Ballage expects more flexibility within the offense compared to the scheme under former offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, who left this offseason to take the Memphis head coaching job.

“It was frustrating. It was a different offense. There were certain set plays. With Coach Lindsey, you can go in and roll. We get the amount of carries we want to get,” Ballage said.

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