by john marshall ap college football writer
The Pac-12 Conference has reprimanded the officials in Saturday night's game between Wisconsin and Arizona State for their actions in the bizarre closing seconds.
The Pac-12 said the officials did not act with enough urgency or properly administer the end of game situation when Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave awkwardly took a knee and the clock ran out on the Badgers in the ensuing confusion.
"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."
The strange finish came after Wisconsin drove to Arizona State's 13-yard line with 18 seconds left. Trying to set the Badgers up for a game-winning field goal, 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 by the play and the Sun Devils dove on the ball, thinking it was a fumble. Wisconsin lost precious seconds while the Arizona State players were pulled off and a few more when one of the officials held the Badgers at the line of scrimmage before allowing them to snap the ball.
Wisconsin tried to get a play off so it could spike the ball, but ran out of time. Arizona State won 32-30.
The Pac-12 said neither the referee nor anyone on his crew moved with appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly.