Tate a Semi-finalist for Walker Award

Auburn senior Ben Tate made the cut for an award to honor the nation's top running back.

Auburn, Ala.--Ben Tate's impressive senior season is being recognized nationally with the Auburn tailback selected as one of 10 semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

Tate, who is averaging 114.2 rushing yards per game with six 100-yard performances this season, has scored eight rushing touchdowns for the 7-3 Tigers. Five of his 100-yard rushing games have come against SEC competition.

The senior has 14 receptions for 67 yards and is averaging 27.9 yards on kickoff returns.

The other candidates for the award include junior Donald Burkram of UTEP, junior Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia Tech, senior Tony Gerhart of Stanford, sophomore Mark Ingram of Alabama, freshman Dion Lewis o Pitt, junior Ryan Matthews of Fresno State, sophomore Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State, senior C.J. Spiller of Clemson and freshman Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech.

Tate says he is enjoying being a part of the new offensive system the Tigers installed this year under the direction of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. "It is a good offense for a back like me to run in," he says.

Ben Tate has rushed for 1,142 yards this season.

The senior says his offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the success he is having. "Those guys are doing a real good job," he says.

The field of 10 players up for the award will be reduced to three on November 23rd and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10th. The award honors three-time SMU?All-American Doak Walker, the 1948 Heisman Trophy winner.

Tate is fifth in school history in total rushing yards with 3,101. If he rushes for 64 more yards he will move past Carnell Williams (2004), Joe Cribbs (1978) and James Bostic (1993) into 10th place by himself for most single-season rushing yards in Auburn history. Bo Jackson, with 1,786 in his Heisman Trophy winning season of 1985, has the record.

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