Valai blocks PAT, No. 11 Badgers beat ASU 20-19
By CHRIS JENKINS, AP Sports Writer Sep 18, 8:48 pm EDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP)—Jay Valai didn’t quite know how he got through the line to make a shocking play that saved the day for No. 11 Wisconsin.

With a nervous Camp Randall Stadium crowd assuming the Badgers were about to blow a fourth-quarter lead, the senior safety surged to swat a game-tying extra point attempt in a 20-19 victory over Arizona State on Saturday.

“I jumped over somebody’s leg, or maybe I crawled under because I’m a little short,” Valai said. “But I made the play and blocked it.”

Valai also salvaged some pride after a miserable day for the Badgers special teams, which gave up several long returns that could have cost Wisconsin (3-0) the game.

Wisconsin’s coverage units were so sloppy the crowd let out a sarcastic cheer anytime the Badgers tackled a Sun Devils kick or punt returner without giving up a big gain in the second half.

But Wisconsin did manage to make two game-changing plays on special teams: Valai’s extra point block and a last-ditch tackle by Shelton Johnson that prevented a touchdown return just before halftime.

The Badgers haven’t looked particularly sharp in their first three games, but they’ll take the wins.

“It’s only going to make us stronger as a team,” quarterback Scott Tolzien said. “Even the first two weeks, we faced some adversity with turning the ball over and stuff like that, and looking back you would never like to have those mistakes. But at the same time, hopefully that will help us in the long run, just having to fight through that adversity and work through it.”

It was a harsh ending for Arizona State (2-1) after making a serious bid for an upset.

The Sun Devils kept Wisconsin’s defense off balance for much of the day with their up-tempo spread offense, but couldn’t turn drives into points.

“I told them we blew a lot of opportunities offensively to score touchdowns and score points,” Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said. “That is why we lost. I also told them defensively, on third down, we needed to get out of drives and get the ball back to the offense.”

Then after embarrassing Wisconsin with several long returns, Arizona State couldn’t execute the most basic special teams play of all.

“I was talking to the defense, telling them we needed to get the ball back,” quarterback Steven Threet said. “I didn’t know what happened until I heard the crowd noise. It’s tough but it’s a part of the game. Special teams were big for us today.”

Wisconsin’s John Clay rebounded from a slow start to rush for 123 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter for Wisconsin. Tolzien was 19 of 25 for 246 yards and a touchdown.

With the Badgers thin at wide receiver, tight end Lance Kendricks caught seven passes for 131 yards.

The Badgers sustained several injuries on defense during the game— including linebacker Chris Borland, who re-injured his surgically repaired shoulder injury. Badgers coach Bret Bielema said the team will consider redshirting Borland.

Deantre Lewis had 122 yards rushing for the Sun Devils.

Threet was 21 of 33 for 211 yards and nearly pulled off what would have been his second career comeback against the Badgers. Threet, a transfer from Michigan, led the Wolverines to a comeback victory over the Badgers in 2008.

“We can move the ball,” Threet said. “We’ve just got to finish when we get down there.”

With the game tied at 13, the Wisconsin running game asserted itself late in the third quarter. The Badgers drove 88 yards in eight plays, taking the lead when Clay scored from the 19.

Trailing 20-13, Arizona State stopped Clay short on third-and-2 to force a punt with 8:22 left in the game.

Threet drove the Sun Devils to Cameron Marshalls’ 2-yard touchdown run to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 20-19 with 4:09 left in the game—but Valai blocked the kick.

Wisconsin’s offense then converted a critical third-and-2 play to Kendricks, and the Badgers ran out the clock.

Trailing and struggling for most of the first half, the Badgers took a 13-10 lead after Tolzien’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Kendricks late in the second quarter—but the Badgers nearly allowed their second special-teams touchdown of the game just before halftime.

The Sun Devils’ Kyle Middlebrooks burst through the Badgers’ kick coverage and appeared headed for a touchdown when Johnson tackled him at the 1 as the clock expired.

Arizona State’s Omar Bolden returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and the Sun Devils nearly got another special teams touchdown in the first half when a punt return was called back because of a penalty.

Updated Sep 18, 8:48 pm EDT
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Head to Head - Week 3

Team Total Yds Pass Yds Rush Yds First Downs 3rdD% Pen./Yds Turnovers Time of Poss.
Arizona State 380 211 169 20 41.7% 8/61 0 27:02
Wisconsin 440 246 194 25 42.9% 3/25 0 32:58

110 Comments

  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    meathead 13 hours ago Report Abuse
    ASU is underated and the Pac-10 is very good this year, Hats off to WI in the win had a great time in Madison
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Bruno Sun Sep 19, 2010 05:46 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Bucky was lucky...

    And I'm a Badgers fan. Badgers need to play better. The Badgers never seem to play that well during a hyped year. No idea why. But it never fails. However, that receiver (#4) looks promising. Impressed by him.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Football Time Sun Sep 19, 2010 03:42 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Wisconsin moved up a spot in the coaches poll, the one the BCS uses. Why? Because they deserve to, They played a game with three of their top players out, the top two wide-outs and one of the best defensive players on the team / top linebacker. And throw in the fact a guy that is 5' 9" breaks through the opposing line to block a game tying PAT, gives plenty of reason for the accolades. Now, throw int he fact the team hasn't been playing up to its potential, and is still winning, and the ranking is well deserved. and for the people that complain about the officiating, you know nothing of football. I hear the opposing side complain and complain about the officiating of this game, but it is selective and one sided. I saw numerous no calls that went in favor of the opposing team. And if you take a look at the game video, on every score the opposing team had, their scrawny offensive line were hanging on to dear life to the Badgers defensive front seven, Holding is cheating! But the poser fan who knows nothing about football doesn't see this or doesn't even know what "holding" is. It wasn't called; but you never see Wisconsin fans complaining about that. We just win, and get national recognition.

    I can see why your team lost, the fan base seems to be full of uneducated complainers and do nothing, pass the buck type people.

    sorry, posers.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Michael Sun Sep 19, 2010 03:15 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Alright, let's look at simple football facts, Dennis Erickson puts no patsy teams on a field, his teams are well coached and well prepared. ASU looks to be a definite underrated team. Wisconsin was playing with it's top 2 recievers out and an injury to a key defensive player in the 1st half. Having to set up a completely revamped gameplan offensively to the passing game doesn't take its toll ?? The spread was placed on this game early and should have just been thrown out at +21 for WI. I looked 2 weeks ago and thought ASU was a better team than AU in the Pac, but UCLA...never a better team than Houston this year. Only on the scoreboard. WI still won on the score, better QB, better rushing and recieving, better "D" and better special teams, but ASU, don't down your team because you lost to a soon to be top 10 team... no, you will be in the hunt in the Pac 10, who else is there ??
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 5 users disliked this comment
    MarkC Sun Sep 19, 2010 01:46 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Great Game ! Great Job... 2 mediocre also rans.. The Devils Surprised me though ( I didn't realize Wisconsin
    is as bad as THEY ARE ). Next Week the Ducks Roll into Sun Devil Stadium ! and Kick the Devils Rumps 47-10
    Then they be partying @ CamelBack !! Whoo Hoo !
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    Hottest Guy Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:22 pm PDT Report Abuse
    The Big Ten is ridiculously overrated. Arizona State is the 6th or 7th best team ion the Pac-10 and they went into Madison and gave Big 10's 3rd best team all it could handle. Meanwhile Arizona (the Pac-10's 4th best team) beat Iowa (the Big 10's second best team.) We all saw what happened to Penn State at Alabama. The rest of the Big Ten's ranked teams haven't played anyone of substance (except Ohio State's drubbing on an overrated ACC team.) It is ridiculous that the Big Ten has 6 ranked teams.
  • A Yahoo! User
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    A Yahoo! User Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:32 am PDT Report Abuse
    Watch the ASU kickoff return for a touchdown and you will see an obvious block in the block against a Badger player. The play should have been called back. A Badger defender did interfere with an ASU player in the endzone. A ten yard penalty. Yet many ASU fans continue to whine? Face it ASU...you lined up against a Big Ten team and lost. You predicted a victory and made liars out of yourselves. Next time, try covering the Badger tight end and block better on PAT's.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    connie k Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:28 am PDT Report Abuse
    Sig, you can't say that would of been the senario? Had the score of been ASU 26 (give the blocked extra point) UW 20, on that final drive, with the time left, would the Badgers of been able to rely on their smash mouth running game? No, they would of had to of gone to a passing game, so may very well of changed the outcome? Either way, its a Badger victory on the books, although not an impressive one, especially viewing the facts of the game.
    With all the said, If I was Bielema, I think I'd be viewing the position of my special teams coach? Without more solid play, the Badgers may be looking at a 4-4 big ten record. One does have to give cudo's to the O-line , Clay, but especially Tolzien. His passing stats of 75% completions while the #1 & #2 recievers are missing, is a plus. Alot of key injuries, the D needs to step up, but I'd be looking for a new speacial teams coach, after that fiasco!
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Randy Roggenbuck Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:22 am PDT Report Abuse
    Randy As a Badger fan I'm just glad they got the win
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    sig Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:02 am PDT Report Abuse
    Im a badger fan and i do admit the no-call was bad in the endzone. So that is (possibly) 4 more points. The inclompetion TD was not enough evidence to overturn. The Badgers also sat on the ball in the red zone at the end of the game to run the clock out. ASU had a (possible) 8 points left off the score board. Badgers could have a (possible) 7 points at the end of the game. Possible OT game..... 1 point win by the Badgers isn't some total travesty IMO.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    connie k Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:05 am PDT Report Abuse
    Wisconsin may have won the game at the final buzzard, but will lose in the minds of AP voters. If I was voting in the AP, I certainly didn't see an 11th ranked team on the field, playing at home. Without a couple of calls nulifying TD's, & 1/2 a yard before the half, a missed 26 yard field goal, & a blocked extra point, ASU had an easy upset!
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    Henry R Sun Sep 19, 2010 09:55 am PDT Report Abuse
    Go ahead and tell yourselves that you beat ASU, and when you run across ranked team, let me know how that turns out for ya!

    2 plays don't make this a close score. Blatant missed interference (at least he got the incompletion call correct) and another call that would not be overturned if it had been called complete (or called complete if the game was played in AZ)

    If you don't see it this way than you've lost touch with reality. You should really consider therapy or medication.
  • 4 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    David B Sun Sep 19, 2010 09:48 am PDT Report Abuse
    Heartbreaking for the Sun Devils. Still, Arizona St - and the Pac 10 - looked good in defeat.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Junkie Sun Sep 19, 2010 09:22 am PDT Report Abuse
    Who cares if Clay is big and fat?! As long as he gets his yards in college games, I'd worship his amazing fat like I did for Ron Dayne.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    robertc Sun Sep 19, 2010 09:01 am PDT Report Abuse
    OK ASU fans. Talk about being helped by the refs. I was at the game. Badger defenders ( especially on outside plays ) were held all day by the ASU's inept line. Fans were screaming at the refs. No calls. You can't miss the jerseys being pulled. Quit whining. You got beat physically and on the scoreboard.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Steph G Sun Sep 19, 2010 08:15 am PDT Report Abuse
    Scary game Badgers, but glad to see you pulled one out. ASU is a not a great team.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Thomas R.B Sun Sep 19, 2010 06:50 am PDT Report Abuse
    Sorry Badger fans but they looked uncertain about what they were supposed to do on every play. Too much time spent thinking about it then a slow pace through it as if they are puppets on a string. Coach pulls ALL the strings. This will be an easy team to beat this year. Oh, and yes I am a Badger fan too.
  • 6 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 8 users disliked this comment
    David W C Sun Sep 19, 2010 06:26 am PDT Report Abuse
    Another overrated Big 10 team just like Michigan and Iowa,they would finish 4th in the Wac or Mountain West!
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 7 users disliked this comment
    DAVEM Sun Sep 19, 2010 06:02 am PDT Report Abuse
    it also helped the badgers had the refs in their pocket-----homer dome
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 6 users disliked this comment
    joe cool Sun Sep 19, 2010 05:45 am PDT Report Abuse
    ok.....enough. the stats dont lie...wisconsin outplayed asu in almost every catagory.....EXCEPT SPECIAL TEAMS & BILEMA HOLDING BACK CLAY. now....asu fans...u got the call on the td return......yes there was on obvious hit in the back by an asu player that was not called. most likely you asu jerks have overlooked this play & continue to whine about all the other non-calls......well THE NON-CALLS WENT BOTH WAYS...like it or not. next...any....i do mean any team with the injuries that the badgers have is subject to a very close game. asu....how many starters were u missing.......not nearly as many as the badgers......& alas we still won. we had to rely on our second stringers for the most part so quit you whineing & get used to the fact that u lost! now bilema......@#$% r u doing. why was clay not in the game early on.....you suck as a coach...you always have & you always will. several of those running plays late in the game asu was waiting on.....where was the play action....& you continue to play right to them.....why? wisconsin won....it should have been by more.....great. bilema....you have a very good team......now please....ACT LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT THE F-- YOU ARE DOING.
  • 7 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Bob Sun Sep 19, 2010 05:42 am PDT Report Abuse
    Slow Slow Slow and overrated. This from a badger fan
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    pk Sun Sep 19, 2010 05:40 am PDT Report Abuse
    GOBADGERS: "Clay is just FAT. Look at his gut. Ron Dayne II".

    So Clay sucks as bad as Dayne, the all time NCAA rushing leader? Get a clue.
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    Joseph Sun Sep 19, 2010 05:36 am PDT Report Abuse
    Blown calls? Yes...the pass interference call should of been called...but that's not an automatic touchdown, just a penalty. The out of the end zone call was the correct call, they got it right on the field and booth...it was very clear...no possession until the left foot hit the line...no briner! As far as how the Badger's played...when it really comes down to it..."just win baby!" Specially without many of their top players and the coaches experimenting with different guys...the Badgers were playing like it was a scrimmage and ASU was playing like it was the Rose Bowl...and ASU still could not win. What won this games was great individual efforts by some special teams no names for the Badgers. After Austin P....bring on the Big Ten...and a January Bowl game!
  • 6 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 6 users disliked this comment
    . Sun Sep 19, 2010 04:39 am PDT Report Abuse
    I have to say, that was the ugliest officiating I've seen since watching the last dallas cowboys game. Everyone should be up in arms over the officials from that game.
    I love the Badgers, I am ashamed of how we won that game yesterday.
    To who ever said the other team was crying to much, they have a point, turn over the top two bad calls made by the referees against both teams? ASU got away with 20 yards in penalties UW got away with two scores. I'm just saying the officiating was horrible.
  • 11 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    JOSEPH Sun Sep 19, 2010 03:55 am PDT Report Abuse
    Wow, I am appalled at some of these comments. To blame the refs for this loss shows a complete lack of knowledge, sportsmanship, and class. As ASU fans, you should concentrate on how well you guys played and how much potential your team has. Instead of spouting off how you think Wisconsin is OVERranked, perhaps you should concenrate on how ASU might be UNDERranked. I even read a comment that said Clay has no talent and is just fat. Just being fat doesn't earn someone the title of being top rusher in the Big Ten and the third best overall running back in the NCAA. ASU is a very good football team and showed it yesterday, but as for the fans, I have never seen such lack of class.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Arizona St.
C. Marshall C. Marshall, RB
12 Rush, 35 yds
1 TD
 Wisconsin
L. Kendricks L. Kendricks, TE
7 Rec, 131 yds
1 TD

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NCAAF - Week 3
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