It took 36 hours, but the Pac-12 has finally commented on the officiating at the end of Arizona State's controversial 32-30 win over Wisconsin.
Referee Jack Follard and his crew have been reprimanded and will face additional sanctions for "failing to properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency on the game's final play," the Pac-12 said in a statement on Monday.
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With 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Badgers quarterback Joel Stave took a knee to center the ball and placed it down at the Sun Devils' 15-yard line for a would-be game-winning field-goal try. However, there was confusion over whether the play had ended when Arizona State linebacker Anthony Jones jumped on the ball, allowing several more seconds to come off the clock. Then, the ball was not spotted and declared ready for play with any sort of exigency. When Stave finally tried to spike the ball, the game was already over.
"This was an unusual situation to end the game," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. We will continue to work with all our officials to ensure this type of situation never occurs again."
Of course, that didn't provide any solace for Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen.
"It doesn't change the outcome obviously," Andersen said Monday. "It's accountability, which at the end of the day is what we asked for."
The bizarre ending also overshadowed outstanding performances from Arizona State running back Marion Grice and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.
Grice grinded out the tough yards, converting three short touchdown runs at the goal line. The senior ran for 84 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. Grice added 50 yards on five receptions, again showing off the completeness of his game.
Gordon rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, scoring an 80-yard touchdown by taking a fly sweep around the corner and out-running the Arizona State defense.
Gordon came into the thrilling late-night Big Ten-Pac-12 tilt averaging 12.9 yards per carry, with 284 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries. He averaged exactly 12.9 yards per carry against Arizona State.