Running back Marion Grice (center) rumbled for four touchdowns for the victorious Sun Devils. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
The Sun Devils had a plan coming in: Use the heat to their advantage at home and wear out the 20th-ranked Badgers. And despite trailing for the majority of the game, it (almost) worked. (Arizona State won 32-30 after a very odd finish, keep reading.) ASU took the lead with 11:40 remaining on a Marion Grice (84 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, four touchdowns) scoring run, and Grice added another touchdown a couple minutes later to put the Sun Devils out in front by eight.
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had 193 yards on the ground in the loss, but the Badgers defense had trouble keeping up with the quick pace of Arizona State’s offense, which ran 93 plays on the night.
With a chance to tie it up with a two-point conversion after Gordon’s second score of the night, thanks in part to a masterful fake punt that extended the drive, Wisconsin was unsuccessful after quarterback Joel Stave was hit while getting rid of the football.
The Badgers would get one more opportunity to win the game with a field goal on a two-minute drive, and a 51-yard pass to Jeff Duckworth got them in range.
But Stave chose a very unorthodox way to center the football, placing it on the ground with his hand, thinking that was enough to give himself up. Arizona State thought it was a fumble, and the officials took a long time to decide before finally spotting the ball. Wisconsin wasn’t able to get a play off to spike it, and the game ended before the field goal unit could come on.
Naturally, people were stunned: