Posted September 15, 2013

Watch: Arizona State upends No. 20 Wisconsin after strange finish in the desert

Arizona State, Wisconsin
Running back Marion Grice (center) rumbled for four touchdowns for the victorious Sun Devils. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Running back Marion Grice (center) rumbled for four touchdowns for the victorious Sun Devils. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

The Sun Devils had a plan coming in: Use the heat to their advantage at home and wear out the 20th-ranked Badgers. And despite trailing for the majority of the game, it (almost) worked. (Arizona State won 32-30 after a very odd finish, keep reading.) ASU took the lead with 11:40 remaining on a Marion Grice (84 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, four touchdowns) scoring run, and Grice added another touchdown a couple minutes later to put the Sun Devils out in front by eight.

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had 193 yards on the ground in the loss, but the Badgers defense had trouble keeping up with the quick pace of Arizona State’s offense, which ran 93 plays on the night.

With a chance to tie it up with a two-point conversion after Gordon’s second score of the night, thanks in part to a masterful fake punt that extended the drive, Wisconsin was unsuccessful after quarterback Joel Stave was hit while getting rid of the football.

The Badgers would get one more opportunity to win the game with a field goal on a two-minute drive, and a 51-yard pass to Jeff Duckworth got them in range.

But Stave chose a very unorthodox way to center the football, placing it on the ground with his hand, thinking that was enough to give himself up. Arizona State thought it was a fumble, and the officials took a long time to decide before finally spotting the ball. Wisconsin wasn’t able to get a play off to spike it, and the game ended before the field goal unit could come on.

Naturally, people were stunned:

When you play football during Fourth Meal, weird things happen.

66 comments
Blinker
Blinker

Wisconsin QB bricked.  Plain and simple.  All he had to do was take a knee.

CJ - Be the Ball
CJ - Be the Ball

All of Wisconsin fans complaining about the refs don't seem to mind that they missed Duckworth stepping out of bounds 25 yards up he field. The controversial call happened an a poorly called and executed play. Even the Wisconsin coach said that the practice spiking the ball in those situations.

pvraymo
pvraymo

1   Learn how to take a freaking knee     2  ASU ain't going anywhere anyway in a loaded Pac 12 this year.   Go Bruins

atwood.t
atwood.t

It is easy to say he touched his knee (or didn't) when watching several views later and in slow motion. However, the refs and everyone else needed to make a call in real time and it sure looked like Stave ran left and then put down the ball which could be interpreted as not "giving himself up" by as a fumble. However, then the clock should have stopped on change of possession and then the play should have been video reviewed to see if that knee was done. Whether or not the call should be overturned to Wisc of not is a matter of conjecture. Regardless, the refs should have stopped to clock and they did not. Stave could have ran over to the middle of the field and slide or really put his knee down and all would have been good. The entire fiasco happened because he did not do a good job of downing the play.

JakeLee
JakeLee

All Wisconsin fans are doing is confirming what a bunch of crybabies they are....waaaaa, waaaa, waaaa!  Suck it up, you lost, and move on.

tennisfan04
tennisfan04

i thought in college football unlike the nfl you didnt need to kneel as long as you were behind line of scrimmage. is that not right?

DSM
DSM

I have no allegiance to either team, but some replays clearly showed he did put his knee down (not as clear from some angles) and that an ASU layer lay on the ball afterwards to delay the game.

That said, the qb could have taken a knee that was easier to spot and the coach might have not taken the risk of mishap costing a few seconds, knowing that players and refs sometimes err--especially when you are on the road.

Cool
Cool

It just amazes me at the number of people here commenting about stupid officials.. the same people who don't know what a "kneel" involves.  For those people who appear on the outside to be football experts, let me ask you this. When there is a questionable play at the end zone, in which a player has stretched out and appears to have put the ball over the end zone line... what are the officials looking for when they review the play?  They are looking to see if... his knee(s) hit the ground before the ball crossed the line.  See, in football, the knee is a very important part of the body... it HAS to hit the ground before the play is considered dead.   If anything, the officials were wrong in blowing the whistle and not awarding the ball to AZ St.  

rrring99
rrring99

The only travesty would have been allowing Wisky to line up to kick a field goal....that kid did not get his knee down...he knew it....and acted guilty as frick...I feel bad for that kid....but he blew it

Just-a-sayin
Just-a-sayin

Let's just squash something here, Stave wasn't arguing that he gave himself up. He went to his knee. There are photos and videos of it and you can even see it in this video, so the people saying that he just set it down... please shut up. The announcer said he was arguing that, but he wasn't. The announcer was wrong. The back ref saw it and that was why he made the call that Stave was down. The problem was the ref that was supposed to set it down was sitting there doing nothing because he was stupid enough not to understand what was clear.  Here are the facts: (1) Stave kneeled, and they saw it. (2) It should have been delay of game on the AZ State player. Plain and simple. (3) The ref should have set the ball right away instead of letting ASU run out the clock. (4) Wisconsin got robbed. They did nothing wrong in that play.

Cool
Cool

It could have been a new version of the fumblerusky that failed. Maybe Wisconsin was planning on picking it up and running it in the end zone but the whistle blew.  So many things it could have been, but the bottom line is that it ended up being a bone head move and they deserved to lose.

j7apple
j7apple

Face it, these refs were way out of their league officiating a game like this. They had not a clue of what was going on at the end, and no common sense to wave the clock dead to reboot, or confer if they had a problem. They acted like a deer in the headlights, and then ran off as fast as a deer does.  Comical.


JeffBockert
JeffBockert

Should be a fumble. I don't know what the rule book says but I would think you at least need to kneel down. Would love to see the wording in the rule book. The QB is to blame, where the heck did he get the idea to simply set the ball on the ground.

LouieRodriguez
LouieRodriguez

what a travesty, these refs should be reprimanded!!!

j7apple
j7apple

Some people fail to recognize that the whistle blew..Play over.....Get off the damn ball and play. The refs blew it.  (not just the whistle  lol)

sameo
sameo

PAC-12 refs are notorious for cheating. That's the reason some conferences will not play a PAC-12 team.

atthebarbershop
atthebarbershop

Dude needs to make his actions more clear next time. The ONLY reason there was confusion is that it didn't look like he took a knee. Based on their actions, some of the refs seemed to believe the QB didn't take a knee a belief shared by ASU players. Of course UW could have done all this a play earlier instead of tttrying to make the FG the final play, but didn't.

nerfthunder
nerfthunder

Stave took a knee, then quickly tried to spot the ball for the referees.  Apparently, the kid is so lightning quick that people (including the announcer, the refs, and the ASU players) cannot see both actions separately and just assume a bunch of stuff that never happened.  So Wisconsin is penalized because of Joel Stave's divine hummingbird wingflap quicks.  Fact #1:  All the kids have always been jealous of Stave's hummingbird quicks.  Fact #2:  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BULy_aiCQAAkXVB.jpg

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

Still, Wisconsin gave up 32 pts to an UNRANKED Arizona St. team...THAT's what REALLY lost the game.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

TAKE the head refs entire pay for the game, and half the pay for the rest for blowing the call. ALSO, suspend the crew one game as a warning against further FU's. If players can get fined or suspended, the officials need to be treated the same way too.

Flood'o'Buffs
Flood'o'Buffs

Ya, the Officials took to long, but Wisconsin wasn't ready to snap it anyways. Stupid. Can't believe Badger fans are even complaining.

Peter23
Peter23

@tennisfan04 That is not right. What you described is known as a fumble. If his knee was not down, the officials screwed up by allowing Wisconsin to keep the ball.

j7apple
j7apple

@DSM Especially the Pac-12 refs who are notoriously bad.

brad008
brad008

@Just-a-sayin Agree!! You are absolutely spot-on. Wisconsin was robbed of a chance to try for a FG.......Even as a PAC 12 fan (esp. over the "Big 10"), I was shocked to see the game end like that. What a terrible ending. Hope the officials get dropped for the year.

Cool
Cool

@Just-a-sayin Let's be accurate... there are NO pictures or video of him going to his knee.  There are pictures and video of him bending his knees but then setting the ball down.  Kneeling by definition means a knee actually goes to the ground.  For you to say any part of his knee went to the ground is just plain delusional.   

Ryan19
Ryan19

@Just-a-sayin Here's another fact: the WR stepped out of bounds on the big pass play a bit before that so Wisco wouldn't have even been in FG range if the refs didn't blow that call.  

j7apple
j7apple

@Cool A kneel down is a bone head move?...hmmmmmm

JakeLee
JakeLee

@LouieRodriguez 


Wisconsin fans should be reprimanded for non-stop whining and being biggest crybabies in the NCAA

j7apple
j7apple

@sameo  I am not convinced they are cheating. I am convinced they are just not as bright as other conference refs.  

CJ - Be the Ball
CJ - Be the Ball

What conferences won't play the Pac12? Do you have a quote from an AD to prove this claim?

pjfuller
pjfuller

@atthebarbershop doesn't matter.  Knee touched, yes.  But...whistles blew.  Play was dead.  Even simulating taking a knee, per the rule book, kills the play.  If the officials were unsure, that's what replay is for.  It's not rocket science.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

@Flood'o'Buffs Did you even WATCH the video???? The Badger players were WAITING for the officials too SPOT the ball after the QB took a knee. 

mondello58
mondello58

@Flood'o'Buffs Badgers were ready to snap the ball!  Refs didn't set the ball because they didn't know what they were doing!


Cool
Cool

@j7apple @Cool By definition.  Kneel: to move your body so that one or both of your knees are on the floor : to be in a position in which both of your knees are on the floor.

Did you see any knee on the ground?  If not, this was not a "kneel" since no knee was on the ground.  

Now if a Wisconsin player had picked the ball up and ran to the end zone I suppose you would be using the same argument I am.. but instead you would be calling it a fantastic trick play.   Depends on your perspective I suppose.

TheVon
TheVon

@j7apple @JeffBockert You guys have a high definition picture of Stave kneeling for half a second and expect that everyone should have known he was kneeling.  I watched that play a lot (in real time---the way the refs do) and never once saw him kneel.  

Bad clock management.  Terribly ambiguous kneeldown.  The officials weren't perfect, but Wisconsin started the process.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@j7apple @JeffBockert  Wow, didn't see that from the video angle. You are right.  However, in terms of the refs being slow, they aren't any worse that other conferences. Refs blew three straight PI calls in WSU vs. Auburn game to give Auburn the victory. Not to mention defender stepped out of bound on pick 6 return. The bottom line is that, with all the money on the line these days, all conferences are trying to get their share of the cash.

atthebarbershop
atthebarbershop

@pjfuller @atthebarbershop I didn't see the knee touch, nor did I see a simulation. I saw the QB just put the ball down in the middle of the field. The whistle shouldn't have blown. This should have been a fumble. That would have been the correct call.

j7apple
j7apple

@TheVon @j7apple @JeffBockert  There was a ref behind the play that was waving it down. The whistle was blown. The ref that stood there watching the AZ player just laying n the ball made the gaff.

j7apple
j7apple

@JeffBockert @j7apple  Probably right, and there are bad apple refs in every conference. Just seems that more and more critical bad calls pop up in the PAC-12 year after year then any other conference.

j7apple
j7apple

@JeffBockert @j7apple @sameo  Why do you think Mike Pereira was brought in a couple years back as the Pac-12's interim coordinator of football officiating and promptly axed about a dozen refs?  He even said that was the tip of the iceberg. It will take time to make it right.  The refs there are still bad.