ASU’s upset win over Wisconsin: By the numbers
Arizona State came from behind to upset No. 20 Wisconsin Saturday night in a game that had it all — from big plays to coaching miscues to a finish that likely will be talked about for quite some time.
In an effort to put the wacky Big Ten/Pac-12 showdown into focus, here’s a look back at the Sun Devils’ 32-30 victory by the numbers.
ASU became the first team to score on Wisconsin’s defense this season, and the third in the last two years to amass more than 400 yards in a game.
As far as flags were concerned, the Sun Devils were pretty disciplined overall. The only three infractions on the night came on false starts by D.J. Foster, Evan Finkenberg and Tyler Sulka.
Marion Grice failed to rush for over 100 yards, but the senior tailback recorded his fifth career multi-touchdown game with a career-high four scores. Grice has 12 touchdowns in his last five games.
ASU hung on for dear life Saturday night, but it shouldn’t have been that close. On three separate occasions, Todd Graham decided to force the envelope instead of taking the points. All three times it backfired. In the first quarter, the Sun Devils drove down to the Badgers’ three-yard line, but on fourth and two they elected to go for it rather than kick a short field goal. Taylor Kelly’s pass to Kyle Ozier fell incomplete, and they were left with nothing to show for a 72-yard drive. Following two of Marion Grice’s three second-half touchdown runs, Graham elected to go for two and both attempts failed. In total, ASU left five points on the field.
Melvin Gordon’s 80-yard touchdown run marked the sixth time this season that an opponent gave up a play of 50 yards or more to the Badgers.
With Saturday’s win over Wisconsin, ASU moved to 9-0 all time against Big Ten teams at Sun Devil Stadium.
Wisconsin got plenty of help from ASU’s special teams unit in the second quarter. Punter Dom Vizzare couldn’t handle a low snap from his own 32-yard line and then failed to fall on the football in his own end zone. Instead, Beau Allen recovered it, giving the Badgers a comfortable 14-3 lead at the time.
ASU ran 93 total plays Saturday night — 147 percent more than Wisconsin (63) ran.
Wide receiver Jaelen Strong had a bit of a coming out party in the fourth quarter. Strong recorded four of his six catches over the final 15 minutes of play. In all, the 6-foot-4 wideout led the Sun Devils with 104 receiving yards.
For the first time in his career, Taylor Kelly threw for 300 yards in consecutive games. In Saturday’s two-point win, the ASU quarterback completed 29 of his 51 pass attempts for 309 yards.
Kelly’s third quarter interception was his first in 309 days. His last pick came in a 38-17 loss to USC back in Nov. 2012. On that afternoon, the ASU quarterback threw three total interceptions.
The last time ASU beat a Big Ten team ranked inside the top 20 was on Sept. 18, 2004. On that night, Andrew Walter threw five touchdown passes in a 44-7 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.