I was watching this important play closely since a Wisconsin field goal would win the match by one point. But I still wasn’t sure what was going on when the Badgers’ QB stood up and the Sun Devil player opposite seemed to be tackled by a teammate.
Evidently, instead of spiking the football to stop the clock, Wisconsin’s QB just placed the ball back on the line of scrimmage. I can understand why the ASU player would jump on an apparently loose ball. The official seemed to explain things, then Wisconsin quickly lined up again. But the clock ran out.
The ESPN commentators said the Arizona State player who fell on the football should have been called for delaying the game. But there is plenty of blame to go around.
* Wisconsin’s QB should have spiked the ball properly. Maybe he wanted to save the second or two it would have taken him to do that. They were cutting it pretty close.
* Instead of hustling off the field, the officials should have conferred to review the applicable rule, then put 5-10 seconds back on the clock. They had reset the clock earlier in the game; I’m pretty sure it was within their authority to do so here.
I can’t say definitively that Wisconsin was robbed. There is a small possibility that their field goal unit might not have lined up in time or that the kick might have been blocked. But the odds were in their favor. I hate to see any game end like this. It’s always better for a team to win because of their skill – or the other team’s lack of skill. I expect this incident will be debated until next week’s games bring another bad call, spectacular play or human interest story.