The Pac-12 conference reprimanded its own officials after a blown call on the last play of the game involving the Wisconsin Badgers and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
According to Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott stated “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.”
Most of Scott’s issue was with the lack of urgency from the officials in getting the ball back to the line of scrimmage allowing the Badgers one last chance to stop the clock for a chance at a game winning field goal. This of course is assuming that quarterback Joel Stave actually got his knee down, he didn’t.
On the play he had run into his own linemen, which threw off his timing and as a result didn’t get his knee to touch the ground to get ruled down. So, when Stave placed the football on the ground to center it for his kicked it was actually a fumble. Even with the confusion the Sun Devils defense wisely fell on the football for the recovery.
Yet, it wasn’t ruled a recovery. Instead the referees ruled that Stave had actually got his knee down and before the Badgers could lineup for one last play the time had expired with Arizona State picking up the 32-30 victory.
Here’s why the officials deserve the reprimand and sanctions even if it was confusing. Stave may have gotten his knee down, yet the only proof that he did is from an angle that no referee would have the benefit from directly from behind. Meaning that the only conclusive possibility is that Arizona State recovered the fumble and would have to take the knee to finish off the victory.
Here’s the video of the play.