Controversial finish dooms Badgers in 32-30 loss at Arizona State

By: UW.BADGERS.COM
By: UW.BADGERS.COM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Despite being in the middle of the desert, there wasn't enough sand in the hourglass for Wisconsin on Saturday.

A trick play and a long bomb kept 20th-ranked UW in it late, but a bizarre ending left Wisconsin without enough time and had the Badgers walking away from Sun Devil Stadium on the wrong end of a controversial finish as Arizona State claimed a 32-30 win.

Wisconsin (2-1) used a fake punt to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon, but still trailed 32-20 when its 2-point conversion failed late in the fourth quarter.

Once they got the ball back, the Badgers drove to Arizona State's 13-yard line and Joel Stave took a knee to set up a potential winning field goal. He put the ball down after he kneeled and left it there, apparently causing confusion among the officials and Arizona State players as to whether the play was dead. The clock kept running and the Badgers couldn't get another play off despite being set at the line of scrimmage.

Gordon ran for 193 yards on 15 carries, but the game will be remembered for the strange ending.

The Badgers rushed for three yards in six carries in the first quarter before finding a rhythm offensively on a scoring drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Stave to Jacob Pedersen early in the second.

That was about it for the Badgers' offense in the first half, though; They had 101 total yards, but still led 14-13.

Wisconsin extended the lead on the first play of the third quarter, when Gordon took an end-around handoff and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. The Badgers' sixth play of 50 or more yards this season put them up 21-13.

Arizona State continued to have miscues, including another dropped pass and an interception by Kelly, one play after the Sun Devils recovered a muffed punt.

They kept marching on Wisconsin's defense, though.

Grice capped a 91-yard drive in third quarter with his second 1-yard TD run, but the 2-point conversion failed, keeping the Badgers up 21-19.

Arizona State followed Kyle French's field goal with another long drive, thanks to a couple of back-shoulder throws by Kelly and a pass interference call. Grice capped that one, too, bulling in for a 2-yard touchdown that put the Sun Devils up 25-24 after another 2-point conversion failed.

Grice gave Arizona State extra cushion midway through the quarter when raced in for a 12-yard touchdown to become the first Arizona State player to run for four TDs in a game since Mike Williams against Arizona in 2002.

The Sun Devils needed the extra points and a little luck with the confusing finish.


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