TEMPE, Ariz. — Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
In front of a national television audience, Todd Graham claimed his signature win as time ran out on Wisconsin before a potential game-winning field goal attempt could even be kicked.
Behind running back Marion Grice’s three second half touchdowns, ASU held on for a 32-30 upset win over the 20th-ranked team in the country at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday.
Trailing 21-13 late in the third quarter, the Sun Devils scored on three straight possessions with Grice finding the end zone on each the scoring drives. Grice finished the game with 84 yards and four touchdowns.
ASU improved to 9-0 all-time against visiting Big Ten teams.
For the second straight game, quarterback Taylor Kelly passed for 300 yards. He completed 29-of-51 for 352 yards. His favorite target once again was junior college addition Jaelen Strong, who caught six balls for 104 yards. Defensively, Osahon Irabor led the way with seven tackles, including two-and-a-half for a loss and a sack.
Too many dropped passes, which stalled drives and halted momentum for the Sun Devil offense. There was also a costly special teams error that led to a Wisconsin score: A bad snap to punter Dom Vizzare was recovered in the end zone by Beau Allen, which at the time gave the Badgers a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.
WHEN IT WAS OVER
When the clock read 0:00. There were two lead changes in the game, but an opportunity for a third and ultimately the victory never happened as Wisconsin couldn’t stop the clock in time to run its field goal team out for what may have been the game-winning play.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Grice. He became the first Sun Devil to rush for four touchdowns in a game since Mike Williams ran for four at Arizona on Nov. 29, 2002. Grice now has 12 total touchdowns (10 rushing, two receiving) in his last five games and 25 career touchdowns in his first 15 games wearing the Sun Devil uniform.
– The Sun Devils win their first game in which Kelly threw an interception.
– Scouts from 10 NFL teams were in attendance: Bills, Colts, Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Jaguars, Jets, Ravens, Titans and 49ers.
HE SAID IT
“We just beat the defending Big Ten champion, but we made so many mistakes,” Graham said.
ASU (2-0) hits the road for the first time, traveling to Pac-12 champion Stanford on Saturday, September 21. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 4:00 p.m. MST on FOX; and of course on the Sun Devils flagship station Arizona Sports 620 KTAR with pregame coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. MST.