Gary Andersen calls it "the game that never ended."
The standings say otherwise, but good luck finding a Big Ten football fan who won't sympathize with Wisconsin's first-year head coach.
"The kids are getting over it," Andersen said Tuesday on the Big Ten's weekly coaches call. "They always recover faster than coaches. I can deal with bad calls or poor decisions by me. This is different."
Different is one way to describe the ending of Wisconsin's 32-30 loss Saturday at Arizona State. With 16 seconds to play, Badgers quarterback Joel Stave moved the ball to the center of the field to prepare Kyle French for a potential 32-yard, game-winning field goal.
Stave took a quick knee and then placed the ball down at the 15-yard line. Although one official indicated the play was dead, the referee allowed the clock to tick down. He even extended his arm to prevent Wisconsin from lining up to snap the ball. Time ran out, and the officials declined a replay review.
"I thought for sure it would be looked at, re-evaluated," Andersen said."I never felt the game was over until the official jogged off the field. … I sure wish (the officials) would have taken a deep breath and said, 'Hey, let's see what's going on.' Then the kids could have settled it. Would we make the kick? I have no idea. But I like our chances."
Andersen said the Badgers centered the ball for French because "it was definitely the best for him percentage-wise. You track all that stuff."
Andersen also supported Stave's decision to place the ball down, saying the nearest official was not close, so "if you toss it 10-12 yards to him, that would waste 5 seconds right there."
Looking at the big picture regarding his players, Andersen said: "These are life lessons. There are things that will hit you in life that are not fair."
Wisconsin on Saturday becomes the first Big Ten team to this season host a conference game, as Purdue hits Camp Randall Stadium.
Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell said he believed Wisconsin "did the right thing by trying to center the ball. Probably the only mistake was that maybe the quarterback should have handed the ball to the official."
Safe haven: Given that Nebraska's Bo Pelini got burned by an off-air setting he thought was private, is there any safe haven for coaches to vent these days?
"Like I tell our players: 'Unless you are in a closet, you better assume somebody is recording you or taping you or both,' " Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "So, probably not. The moral of the story is, you better wait till you get home and hope your wife is on your side."
Said Penn State's Bill O'Brien: "You have to make sure you are around people that you trust."
Added Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald: "You have to have great awareness of the situations you are in and (know) that sometimes your words will be used against you."
Lighting it up: Mark Dantonio is bullish about Connor Cook, who has emerged as Michigan State's starting quarterback after a strong effort (15-for-22, four TDs, no INTs) against Youngstown State.
Asked what he wants to see from Cook as the team prepares for Notre Dame, the coach replied: "We need to see him adapt, get in rhythm with his wide receivers and continue to lead. As a young player, you have to play well before you can take on a role of great leadership. He has that spark, and he needs to take that spark to a bigger flame. Big things are possible here."
Extra points: Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton has played so well, Urban Meyer actually has a tough decision once Braxton Miller returns from his knee injury. Meyer said he could put the Ohio State duo on the field at the same time or perhaps give the backup a handful of series. Asked if it could be a timeshare a la Florida with Tim Tebow and Chris Leak, Meyer said: "That was curveball and fastball. (Miller and Guiton) are similar in abilities, so I'm not sure that would be ideal."… Brady Hoke's Michigan team averted disaster against Akron. What does he want his players to learn from the experience? "We all need to learn, myself included, to make sure our preparation is detailed and that we are dotting the i's and crossing the t's," he said. Michigan finally leaves the Big House this week, taking on Connecticut. … Workhorse Mark Weisman carried it 30 times a week ago against Missouri State and 35 times in Iowa's victory over Iowa State. Said Ferentz: "Mark's a guy who stays in phenomenal shape. It's not easy for anybody playing a lot of plays. They all really have to take care of themselves and be mentally tough too." … Penn State's O'Brien on the development of receiver Allen Robinson: "I believe he has more knowledge of what we're doing, so we're able to move him around more. He is stronger, faster and has really good playing strength. He practices very hard. So it doesn't surprise me where is at (23 catches, 405 yards) after the first three games." … Minnesota takes on San Jose State and quarterback David Fales, about whom Gophers coach Jerry Kill says: "He makes their team go. Several scouts have come through and feel like he is a first-round draft choice." … Fitzgerald said Northwestern might have had its best practice of the year Tuesday. The Wildcats are back in their familiar morning slot. "The sun was out, we were energetic and the guys were focused." … Indiana's defense made serious progress Saturday, holding Bowling Green to three points. (The Falcons scored their touchdown on a blocked punt.)