Wisconsin vs. Arizona State: Refs Hose Badgers in Bizarre Finish

Andrew CoppensContributor ISeptember 15, 2013

Arizona State Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton (90) tackles Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Joel Stave (2) during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The final score read 32-30 Arizona State as the clock expired. However, the final 18 seconds should have told a different story. Wisconsin was inside the 20-yard line, ready to send out the kicking team for the game-winning field goal. 

Except that officials and Arizona State players had other ideas in what has to be one of the most bizarre finishes college football has seen in quite some time. 

Words simply don't do it justice, so check out the finish in all of it's head scratching glory: 

It's a shame that a game that good ended that way. 

As Stave kneeled the ball down, the whistle blows and in the mass confusion that follows the officials blow not one, but two different situations. 

The Arizona State defense should've been called for a delay of game penalty for falling on the ball and the officials should've been spotting the ball from the get go. Instead, you see the result of the game as 32-30. 

To say the Badger locker room was a bit stunned following the game would be an understatement. 

"I don’t have a lot to say, I’m proud of my kids and they played hard," said Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen. "ASU is a good team. It is a shame that it went down that way." 

Interesting enough, according to head coach Gary Andersen, the Badgers practice this exact scenario every Friday and it was going just how they planned, until the ball was placed on the ground and everyone looked around like they didn't know what was going on. 

"If there is 18 seconds left we teach the kids to spike it and of course he slipped but that is what we practice," Andersen said. "We were worried we would have a kickoff our way."

Andersen would go on to call it the worst loss he's been a part of, and for the likes of Jared Abbrederis and some of the other seniors, this isn't a new feeling. 

For some of those players, they harkened back to the feelings of the final few seconds against fellow Pac-12 foe Oregon in the the 2012 Rose Bowl. 

This game was so close that despite running 30 more plays than the Badgers, ASU managed just 27 more yards on the game. 

Wisconsin started out slow offensively, and the defense was all bend and no break, and after one quarter it was 3-0 Sun Devils. However, in a space of one minute of game time early in the second quarter, the Badgers were up 14-3. 

Joel Stave finished off a 10-play, 73-yard drive with a touchdown to Jared Abbrederis. Wisconsin's defense then held ASU to a 3 and out, but the ensuing punt went through the hands of Drew Vicarrio and Wisconsin recovered it in the end zone for the touchdown.

Things would even out later in the quarter, and the teams went into the locker room with the Badgers leading 14-13. 

It appeared the Badgers were in a position to really take the game over following the kickoff to the second half, as sophomore sensation Melvin Gordon broke off of left tackle for an 80-yard touchdown, putting the Badgers up 21-13. 

Gordon ended the game with 193 yards rushing on 15 carries, for an average of 12.9 yards a carry, to go along with two touchdowns. 

ASU's Marlon Grice wasn't about to be outdone though, going for four rushing touchdowns of his own in the game on just 88 yards. 

However, none of that mattered in the end. It was all about the refs and a bizarre situation, and we all know how well leaving the game in the hands of officials works out, right? 


*Andy Coppens is the lead Big Ten writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes are first hand unless otherwise noted. Follow Andy on Twitter for more of all things Big Ten.