First Posted: 9/17/2013
(AP) The ending came up again in a team meeting for Wisconsin.
That ending the bizarre finish in the desert last week at Arizona State that left the 24th-ranked Badgers with a stunning 32-30 defeat after not getting a shot in the final seconds to try a potential game-winning field goal.
The Badgers (2-1) talked about it again Monday. Coach Gary Andersen sees this whole experience as valuable learning tool for the rest of the season. He thinks his team has moved on, even if the questions kept popping up Tuesday.
“Sounds like everyone put it to bed,” Andersen said Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. “We really discussed it as a team. Good teams are in tightly contested games.”
He added later, “It is what it is. It’s life lessons … It’s an opportunity as a head coach to teach.”
By now, the frantic final seconds in Tempe have been replayed over and over on highlight reels. Here’s a brief refresher:
Wisconsin drove to Arizona State’s 13-yard line with 18 seconds left. Trying to set up for a game-winning field goal, quarterback Joel Stave ran left and tried to take a knee in the middle of the field.
He clipped one of his offensive linemen while trying to go down and plopped the ball onto the yard marker before hopping up quickly.
Players from both teams were confused. The Sun Devils dove on the ball, thinking it was a fumble. Wisconsin lost precious seconds while Arizona State players were pulled off. More time ticked off when an official held the Badgers at the line of scrimmage before allowing them to snap the ball.
Wisconsin tried to spike the ball, but ran out of time 32-30 Arizona State.
In a statement, the Pac-12 Conference reprimanded the officials.
“After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the statement. It was read to Andersen for the first time during his own weekly news conference midday Monday in Madison.
Andersen said he no further reaction to the explanation after getting a chance to read through it thoroughly. Clearly, though, the even-keeled Andersen wishes for another outcome.
“It’s a difficult situation … Nobody asked for it,” he said. “I’m OK with it … and away we go.”
It also won’t deter Wisconsin from considering going on the road for another Pac-12 game either, Andersen said.
He declared Monday’s light practice as clean and crisp. “We’re excited about the opportunity to move on to Big Ten play.”
Oh yeah, the next game. Purdue visit Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday in the Big Ten opener.