The Arizona State Sun Devils staged a blackout on Saturday night in Tempe and held on to beat the No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers at home, 32-30, as the clock ran out on a potential Badgers comeback, all amid one of the most baffling end-of-game plays we've ever seen:
Basically, what happened was Stave attempted to down the ball at the middle of the field in order to spike it and set up a field goal. We think. He should've been signaled as down, which would've given him plenty of time to gather his team for a spike. But ASU players pounced on the ball (which wasn't clearly either dead or alive to anyone), thereby killing time, and in the confusion, officials were in no hurry to set things back up. The sequence likely should've been reviewed, no matter what.
This is a crazy end we'll surely hear more about in the morning.
Before all that, Wisconsin was in field goal range after a 51-yard pass play to Jeff Duckworth. Though Duckworth appeared to step out of bounds at midfield on replay, the play was upheld upon official review.
Senior tailback Marion Grice ran for 84 yards on the night and four touchdowns for ASU, including two scores in the fourth quarter, turning a 24-19 deficit into a 32-24 lead. The Sun Devils had 32 first downs compared to only 17 for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin, down eight points in the fourth quarter, had a 75-yard, 11-play drive culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore tailback Melvin Gordon to pull the Badgers to within 32-30 with 3:53 remaining. But Joel Stave's throw to Jared Abbrederis fell incomplete on the two-point conversion attempt.
Taylor Kelly completed 28-of-50 passes for 348 yards and an interception for Arizona State, who improved to 9-0 all-time against Big Ten teams at Sun Devil Stadium.
Box Score Hero: Grice had a monster game for Arizona State with four touchdowns, but Gordon had a great game as well for Wisconsin. Gordon stood out among the Badgers' trio of productive tailbacks with 194 yards on 16 carries, an average of 12.1 yards per rush, and two touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Wisconsin was No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll, and will surely fall in both. ASU was No. 26 in the AP and No. 28 in USA Today poll, and appears poised to enter the top 25.
But Did They Cover? Arizona State was favored by six points at home by the folks at Odds Shark, and though they won were unable to cover the spread.
Next Week's Schedule: Both teams are in action on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Badgers return home to host Purdue, while Arizona State travels to Palo Alto to battle No. 5 Stanford for a prime time contest.