Big Ten to Wisconsin: Refs botched late-game sequence at Arizona State
Wisconsin wanted answers after officials botched the end of the 32-30 Arizona State win. Big Ten told Badgers that Pac-12 dropped the ball.
Wisconsin approached Big Ten officials supervisor Bill Carollo about Saturday's controversial ending in the Badgers' 32-30 loss to Arizona State and got confirmation that Pac-12 officials did not handle the sequence properly, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Sunday.
"All I know is they botched it," Alvarez said.
The Badgers drove to Arizona State's 13-yard line and, to center the ball for a potential winning field goal, quarterback Joel Stave rushed to his left and kneeled.
Stave left the ball on the field, causing confusion among ASU players who attempted to fall on the ball and officials who didn't seem to know whether the play was dead. Stave placed the ball down with around 15 seconds left. The clock ran out before Wisconsin had a chance to get another play off for a spike. Coach Gary Andersen never got an explanation on the field and probably wants one from the Pac-12. Wisconsin expected the ball to be reset quickly after Stave kneeled, hopefully with around 10 seconds left.
Arizona State coach Todd Graham told reporters after the game he thought Stave fumbled because his knee didn't touch the ground.
An apology wouldn't reverse the outcome, of course. But officials had the ability to review the play in the booth and opted against it, leaving a hard-fought game with a dud of an ending.
"Kids have to decide the game," Alvarez said.
Pac-12 spokesman Erik Hardenbergh said via email that the league reviews officiating calls each Monday.
The Pac-12 got the best of the Big Ten this weekend with Washington also defeating Illinois and UCLA also beating Nebraska.
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