TEMPE, Ariz. – Marion Grice scored two of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Arizona State survived a bizarre ending to beat No. 20 Wisconsin 32-30 on Saturday night.
Grice scored on a 1-yard run in the closing seconds of the third quarter, then on runs of 2 and 12 yards in the fourth to put Arizona State (2-0) up 32-24.
Wisconsin (2-1) used a fake punt to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon, but still trailed 32-20 when its 2-point conversion failed.
The Badgers then drove to Arizona State’s 13-yard line and Joel Stave took knee to set up a potential winning field goal. He put the ball down as he tried to kneel and left it there, causing confusion as to whether the play was dead. The clock kept running, though, and the Badgers couldn’t get another play after scrambling to the line of scrimmage.
Gordon ran for 193 yards on 15 carries, but the game will be remembered for the strange ending.
Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly hit 29 of 51 passes – many of those on back-shoulder throws along the sideline – for 352 yards and a touchdown. Grice finished with 84 yards on 22 carries to help Arizona State kick off a tough stretch in the schedule with a big non-conference win.
After opening with easy victories, the first real test of the season for both teams generated quite a buzz. Maybe not up there with the Alabama-Texas A&M tilt in College Station, but enough to draw a crowd of 66,155, most of them dressed in black to create a blackout in the desert.
Despite the raucous atmosphere, the Sun Devils had trouble getting out of their own way.
Arizona State failed on a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line its opening drive and had numerous dropped passes and miscues. A big one came in the second quarter, when punter Dom Vizzare compounded a bad snap by failing to fall on the football, giving Wisconsin’s Beau Allen a chance to pull it out of a scramble for a touchdown that put the Badgers up 14-3.
Grice scored on a 1-yard touchdown run