MADISON, WI -

For the first time in a long time, the Wisconsin Badger football team is having trouble running the ball on offense.

With 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball back for his senior season, it seemed Wisconsin would put up big rushing numbers again this season.

But after three games, Ball has struggled to find holes and as a result, the Badgers are averaging just 3.1 yards per carry as a team.

Ball figures he has to be ready early in Saturday's game at Camp Randall against UTEP.

"I've gotta make sure I start fast, start strong at the beginning of the game", Ball said. "I can't wait until the 3rd or 4th quarter to do that.. and I can't wait until the third or fourth quarter of the season to do that and make sure I start it now, and that's what we're focusing on for this game."

Center Travis Frederick says he was encouraged by the offensive line's progress in the 16-14 win against Utah State last week.

"The way we played as a unit, I believe, was a much bigger step up in the way that we had been playing.. I do see the improvement there", Frederick said. "A lot of people on the outside aren't going to see that because it really does come down to a step here or a step there, where you're hand placement is, but I do think we played a lot better than we had."