In a controversial ending, the Wisconsin Badgers lost for the first time this season, falling to the Arizona State Sun Devils 32-30.
The seconds ticked away as Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave attempted to center the ball, take a knee and then try to get one more play to spike the ball and stop the clock for a game winning field goal attempt.
The Badgers work on it every day in practice and head coach Gary Anderson said there was plenty of time to make it all happen. The problem is, the officials didn’t step in and set the ball up for the Badgers to get the ball snapped for the spike which would have stopped the clock. There would appear to be some question as to whether Stave actually took a knee or not. But regardless, the officials should have stopped the clock and made a ruling. If he did take a knee, then they should have penalized Arizona State for a delay of game. If he didn’t take a knee, then Arizona State recovered the football that Stave laid down on the ground for them and the clock should have stopped for a change in possession.
Either way, the officials should have stepped up and made a ruling and certainly they should have issued some sore of explanation, which has yet to come to Gary Anderson from the Pac-12 crew.
To add to the whole mess, officials were blowing whistles after Stave put the ball on the ground, which would indicated an end to the play. Yet they never stepped in to spot the football until it was too late.
Stave says he took a knee and set the ball down. Stave said if he had it to do over, he would have flipped the ball to the official instead of setting it on the ground himself.
Gary Anderson said they didn’t try to kick the game winning field goal with 18 seconds left because they watned to center the ball and put it in the best possible position for kicker Kyle French to kick the game winner.
It’s a gut wrenching defeat for the Badgers who had a chance to win but never got a chance to attempt a game winning kick.
The Badgers open up Big Ten play next week againds Purdue at Camp Randall Stadium. Following is a youtube video of the final sequence on ESPN.