Madison, WI (Sports Network) – Scott Tolzien threw for 246 yards with one touchdown and Jay Valai was credited with a key blocked extra point late in the fourth quarter as 11th-ranked Wisconsin escaped Arizona State, 20-19, at Camp Randall Stadium.
Tolzien completed 19-of-25 passes for the Badgers (3-0), who host Austin Peay next Saturday in advance of their Big Ten opener on October 2 at Michigan State.
John Clay rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and Lance Kendricks added seven receptions for 131 yards and a score.
Steven Threet went for 211 yards on 21-of-33 completions for the Sun Devils (2-1), who began the season with wins over Portland State and Northern Arizona.
Kerry Taylor posted 71 yards on six receptions and Deantre Lewis gained 122 yards on nine carries. Cameron Marshall ran for 35 yards and a touchdown that got ASU within one, but Thomas Weber’s extra point was blocked by Valai.
Facing a seven-point deficit, the Sun Devils embarked on a 77-yard drive just before the midway point of the fourth quarter. Marshall picked up an early first down on a seven-yard run, and Lewis gained a first down on a 23-yard rush to the Badgers’ 22. Four plays later, Mitchell walked in from the two but Valai got a hand on the extra point and the Badgers held a 20-19 edge.
Wisconsin took over on its own 27, and a personal foul on Arizona State provided a key first down. A play-action completion for 17 yards to Kendricks on 3rd-and-2 from the Devils’ 45 kept the ball moving.
Another first down, this time on a 10-yard rush from Clay on 2nd-and-10 from the visitors’ 28, led to three Tolzien kneel-downs to whittle away the remainder of the clock.
Philip Welch’s 49-yard field goal gave the Badgers a lead with 40 seconds to play in the first quarter, but Omar Bolden broke free on the kickoff and wound up with a 97-yard return for a touchdown and 7-3 Sun Devils edge.
Weber drilled a 25-yarder for a seven-point ASU edge early in the second, then Welch hit from 44 yards out to cap Wisconsin’s ensuing drive.
The Badgers hit the break with the lead, as Tolzien connected with Kendricks on a 14-yard score with 10 seconds to play.
Arizona State’s first drive of the second half got it to the Badgers’ 18 before a 36-yarder from Weber tied the game, 13-13.
Clay’s 19-yard run inside of three minutes to play in the third put Wisconsin back up 20-13.
ASU had won the two previous meetings, with the last one coming in Tempe back in 1968…Arizona State begins its Pac-10 slate next Saturday by hosting Oregon…The Badgers racked up 440 yards of total offense to 380 for the Sun Devils.
09/18 19:50:12 ET