Eric Ball (American football)

Eric Ball
No. 42
Position: Running Back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1966-07-01) July 1, 1966
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 586
Average: 3.7
Rushing TDs: 8
Player stats at

Eric Ball (born July 1, 1966) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders.

College career

Ball played for the UCLA Bruins from 1985 through 1988. He tied a Rose Bowl record in the 1986 Rose Bowl by scoring four touchdowns for UCLA against the Iowa Hawkeyes, and was the game's MVP. He was named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1996.

While at UCLA, Ball had two notable fumbles in very important games. In the November 23, 1985 USC vs UCLA game, with the Rose Bowl on the line for the Bruins, Ball lost the ball on the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter as he dived for the end zone with what would have been the winning touchdown. Marcus Cotton grabbed the fumble for USC and the Trojans would win 17–13. Ball also had a crucial fumble in the UCLA vs Washington State game in 1988, when the #1 ranked Bruins were upset at home by the Cougars 34–30.[1]

NFL career

Ball played mostly as a kick returner for the Bengals, returning 115 kicks over 97 games for a total of 2,474 return yards. In 1995, he was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, but did not make the roster. He then signed with the Oakland Raiders and played one season with the Oakland Raiders.


  1. JAY HOVDEY. Unbeaten U.C.L.A. Is Upset. New York Times. October 30. 1988 Quote:U.C.L.A.'s best running play ended when the tailback Eric Ball fumbled at the Bruin 37 after a gain of 17 yards. The fumble occurred midway through the third quarter, when U.C.L.A. led, 27-13. Five plays later, Washington State scored the second of four successive touchdowns. The fumble was typical of the seesaw nature of the game.

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