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Gary Andersen, Wisconsin attempt to move on from Arizona State debacle

Although the Pac-12 reprimanded the officials involved in Wisconsin's Saturday night loss to Arizona State, the result remains the same. The Badgers have no choice but to start focusing on this weekend's game against Purdue.

Christian Petersen

MADISON -- More than 20 questions passed during Gary Andersen's Monday afternoon press conference before the Wisconsin head coach was asked about upcoming opponent Purdue.

The focus was still squarely on the officiating blunder that swiped away a chance for the Badgers to kick a game-winning field goal in a two-point loss at Arizona State.

During the early-afternoon press conference, the Pac-12 released a statement on the debacle, saying the conference has reprimanded those who officiated the game for "failing to properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency on the game's final play."

Andersen was still less than content about the situation two days later, but said the Pac-12's actions were what he expected, and the key for Wisconsin now is to just try to move on.

"Doesn't change the outcome, obviously, and I really don't expect that," Andersen said. "But it's accountability, which is at the end of the day what we ask for. Ideally, you'd like to say, ‘Let's go get on the airplane and go kick it and see what happens with their PAT field goal block and our PAT team.' That's not going to happen. That's unrealistic.

"Anytime I go through adversity as a coach, the best thing for me is to get out there on the field with the kids, and that'll be no different today. These kids will bounce back. They're tough-minded. They deal with adversity very well. I believe as a staff, we deal with adversity very well. It's tough to deal with, but moving on is a big part of it, and it will not be a factor on how we play against Purdue."

Andersen also addressed the lingering doubt that Stave's knee hit the ground on the final play of the game. He pointed out that Stave's knee can be seen hitting the ground on tape, and that even if it didn't, by rule the play should still be blown dead because Stave gave himself up.

It was a scenario the Badgers work on often, and Andersen said the team watched a teaching tape of this exact scenario in a 2012 game between San Diego State and Nevada to see exactly how to execute the play. In that video, Andersen said San Diego State kneeled the ball with 15 seconds left, Nevada players jumped on the ball like Arizona State did, and the ball was still spiked with three seconds remaining.

Andersen said Stave did exactly what he was taught -- including placing the ball on the ground -- and that Wisconsin would run the same play if that situation ever presented itself in the future.

"It's thought out. It's a process. It's practiced many times," Andersen said.

The select players who were made available to the media Monday after Andersen's press conference -- linebacker Chris Borland, defensive lineman Ethan Hemer and tight end Jacob Pedersen -- hammered home the importance of being able to move forward and put Saturday's crushing loss behind them.

Hemer said he didn't even watch the film of the final play, and Borland called Monday's Pac-12 statement "irrelevant." They said thinking about something that can't be changed would be counterproductive with Big Ten play starting in just five days.

"The result remains the same," Borland said. "That's something I'm sure (the Pac-12) had to do, but we've moved on. You can't afford to dwell. You really don't have time."

Hemer added, "There's nothing more the players or coaches could have done. Their conference came out and made their statement. It was what we expected. Now, you've just got to put it to bed. You just have to move on to the next week. I think this loss will fuel us for the games to come and provide us with motivation."

Watt expected to be at full speed

Andersen said Monday that Wisconsin entered Saturday's Arizona State game with a plan to limit Derek Watt's workload after the fullback sat out against Tennessee Tech with a hamstring injury.

Watt sat out the second half Saturday for precautionary reasons, Andersen said, and not because Watt reinjured himself.

"I couldn't tell you the exact number of plays, but it was limited by plan for him to be involved in really just the running plays last week," Andersen said. "He just felt a little fatigued at halftime - not injured, not re-tweaked at all. So we decided to move along the second half and sit him down."

Andersen said he expects Watt to be at full speed for Monday's practice.