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Arizona State vs. Wisconsin recap: Controversial finish hands Sun Devils a 32-30 victory

So, does anybody know what just happened?

The referees had just about the same impact as Marion Grice did in this one.
The referees had just about the same impact as Marion Grice did in this one.
Christian Petersen

The Arizona State Sun Devils stole a 32-30 upset over the No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers Saturday thanks to chaotic, controversial ending.

The Badgers looked in position to win on walk-off field goal sitting on Arizona State's 13 yard line with just 18 seconds to play. But Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen decided to have his quarterback Joel Stave run out the clock and that's when things got interesting.

It looked at first as if Stave simply chose to place the ball down one-handed after briefly rolling out. But the pictures from the back end tell a different tale with it clearly appearing as if Stave took a knee first. Regardless, the Sun Devils saw an opportunity and literally hopped on it.

Linebacker Anthony Jones dove on the ball before the next play could be reset and laid there as precious seconds ticked off the clock. The referees, showing absolutely no sense of urgency, allowed it all to happen before finally placing the ball to be snapped with about two seconds left. That wasn't nearly enough time to get the spike off and the clock hit zero much to Stave's vivid frustration. No formal review was held.

You can watch the bizarre turn of events here. But believe it or not, there was actually nearly 60 minutes of football played before that baffling final turn of events.

And unfortunately, all this commotion is going steal from the exceptional nights had by ASU's Marion Grice and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon.

Grice paved the way for Arizona State with four rushing touchdowns and 134 total yards (84 rushing). While he didn't have too many big plays rushing, Grice was steady all night and had no problem pounding it in each time the Devils got in the red zone.

On the other end, Gordon stole the show from James White, compiling 193 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore was easily the most explosive player on the field Saturday as evident by his 80-yard end around score on the first play of the second half.

But while Gordon was essentially the entire Wisconsin offense, Grice at least got some help from Taylor Kelly. Kelly finished the night with 352 yards and showed some strong chemistry with Jaelen Strong (six catches, 104 yards) in particular. Kelly was shaky to start but eventually came on strong in the second half with a number of precise, back-shoulder throws. He finished the day with zero touchdowns and one interception making this the first time the Sun Devils have won a game in which he's thrown a pick.

On defense, the Sun Devils were the definition of hot and cold. For every big play (like Carl Bradford hurrying Stave on the potential game-tying two-point conversion), there was a head-scratcher (like allowing Jeff Duckworth to run wild for a 51-yard catch in the final minute). To their credit, they did only allow 23 points since one touchdown came off a botched punt. And only 23 points to a big play team such as the Badgers should always be considered a success.

Looking ahead, the Sun Devils are now undoubtedly set to be ranked for the first time in the Todd Graham era. What remains to be seen is how much credit the voters will truly give ASU for this one. They did play well enough to win but this is the type of victory that tends to leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Now let's hear your take on the game. Do the Devils really deserve the "W"? Tell us in the comments below!