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Andersen’s Opening Statement
As far as a couple of the situations that we can
maybe put them to bed right out of the gate. The situation at
the end of the game, I guess our situation in communicating
with Coach Alvarez, communicating with the Big Ten and
everything that's out there is the bottom line is all we're
really looking for is to accountability in the situation and an
opportunity to let the kids finish the game, which has been
said many times, let them be the deciding factor. So that's
the important part of that.
So we'll see. The Big Ten will handle it. Coach
Alvarez, I'll work with him, and have all the other comments on
that as we continue to move forward.
The other question that continually seems to be
getting asked as we go through is as far as would you do it
again in the exact same situation. My answer to that question
is absolutely yes. It's thought out. It's a process. It's
practiced many times. The process changed this year by three
seconds when there was a three-second runoff to obviously get a
spike off. So it used to be 15 seconds.
Coach Ludwig does a great job of executing it. I think
we teach it exactly the right way. We have a tape of the exact
same scenario last year, against San Diego State. San Diego
State takes a knee, they get up and spike it. The defensive
lineman jumps on the pile just like they did at Arizona State.
So it's an exact replica. Obviously, the outcome was a little
I think we handled it well. There was 18 seconds
left, and you all know the rest. That's kind of where it sits.
But I'm proud of this football team. Excited about next week.
Excited to get home. It's going to be great to get home. I
think everybody's a little edgy. Everybody's a little excited.
Q. Gary, one thing Joel did say about that final play
afterward was he thought the fact that he went down, the he got
up too quickly, he probably would have done it a little bit
differently. Then when he put the ball on the ground.
Is he supposed to put it on the ground or give it to
Andersen: That's how it's taught. The bottom line is
this. Technically by rule, the way I understand the rule,
first of all, let's make it real clear, he did take a knee.
There's no question on if he did take a knee. Watch the film.
It's there. It's very clear.
Secondly, by rule, he doesn't have to take a knee.
You render yourself defenseless in those situations, that is
the rule, you do not have to take a knee.
Thirdly, the idea of putting the ball on the ground
is to give the officials the opportunity to get the ball
spotted quicker and cleaner. The officials were wherever they
were, but they weren't there to turn around and get the ball.
That whole process of Joel looking around behind them, looking
back there, where am I going to put the ball? How am I going
to put the ball? That takes time. That takes valuable seconds
Was he instructed to do it the way he did it?
Andersen: Absolutely, yes. And the teaching tape I referred to earlier
showed him to do the exact same process, which took place from
the way we taught him all through camp and all through spring
Who has the tougher challenge, you say, this week in
turning the page and putting that behind him and looking ahead?
The coaches, yourself, staff, or the players?
Andersen: Absolutely. When I get in these situations
[ me ] I've already told you what -- I guess what I'm looking
for, and it's not what I'm looking for personally, it's just I
want to be able to use the moment to be able to move forward as
a coach, put the players in the position to let them understand
the situation. But it's just very different the way it ended
because there's no -- you can't say, hey, we had a chance to
execute and we didn't.
It's different for me. I've never been through this
situation, but any time 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 will be no different today. To get into the
team meeting. 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. There's so much on the line with 12 guaranteed
opportunities, 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
But I would put myself at the top of the totem pole
as far as struggling to get over really any loss or any
adversity we face as a program. It's always a personal
challenge of my own to handle that the right way, and this is
Gary, at this point, what would you need to hear from
the Pac-12 officials to make you feel any better?
Andersen: Just what I said, just simply -- just
accountability. What the situation was. That's really all I'm
looking for. Because there's nothing else I can look for.
Ideally, you'd like to say, let's get on the airplane
and go kick it and see what happens with their PAT field goal
block and our PAT kick team, but that's unrealistic. Just
review the situation. I know that Mr. Delaney and his people
will do a great job of evaluating the scenario. The Big Ten
will do it. Coach Alvarez will obviously be highly involved.
I'll be involved where needed.
Just some closure, I guess.
You and your team have obviously spent a lot of time
with each other since spring camp, but if you learned anything
more after this adverse situation about the group?
Andersen: These kids have been through -- like
any football team. I got asked the question, this team has
been through some tough losses. Any team that's competitive in
a big-time conference is going to have some good days and have
some bad days. When you look back, how many people go
You're going to face adversity. These kids have
faced it. They're senior oriented. They've been through some
good football games and some great football games and some
What I continue to look for is their preparation, the
way they handle the locker room, the way they carried
themselves after the game was good, especially through our
upper classmen. There's a lot of young kids on that airplane
ride on the way back. There's a couple young kids that need to
learn some scenarios, some situations on how to react. Not
really in a negative way, in any way, shape, or form, just how
you move on and how you prepare yourself for the next
adventure, which is obviously the next game. They'll carry
themselves well. They have so far.
Have not seen them -- Sunday is our day off. We had
meetings this morning, but those are just position meetings.
I'll see them this afternoon. The way they reacted on the
plane ride home, waiting in line to get on the plane, getting
on the bus after it, 6:30, 7:00 in the morning, they'll come
They're on a mission, and the first quarter of that
mission is over with. So we've got to move on.
Gary, you seem to be remarkably composed through that
whole post-game circumstance. I'm wondering how difficult it
was to strike that presentation.
Andersen: Very difficult. I was hopeful --
I'm always hopeful with that one. Communicating with the
officials is to be able to keep some sort of a cool head and
hopefully be able to get some communication the right way out
of that because, if you're yelling and screaming, at that
point, I don't know if that's the best thing to do because it
makes people kind of go the other way.
I don't believe -- the way I handled it is the way I
handled it. I don't believe doing it that way. I wish the
communication could have gone on a little longer, but it wasn't
happening. Again, I can only control what's in my control.
You're not in a position to do anything more than that at that
So try to handle it as professionally as I can.
Gary, the Pac-12 says, quote, we determined the
officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games
should be managed. Is that sufficient to satisfy you?
Andersen: Can you read it again?
We've determined the officials fell short of the high
standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. That's from
Larry Scott, commissioner of the league.
Andersen: Initially, looking at it, I don't
know. I'll react to it the way I'm supposed to react to it
through the Big Ten and through Coach Alvarez.
To me personally, no.
Gary, is it any easier to turn the page or look
forward to Purdue just knowing that the goals that this team
set forth for itself at the start of the season are still there
with the Big Ten Championship and all that, because that game
is a nonconference game. Does that play into it at all?
Andersen: I really don't think so with these
kids. Obviously, the goals have been set. We never sat down
and put a bunch of goals. The goals, as I always stated, is
for those seniors to walk out of here proud. Would that be a
big part of it if they had another championship? You bet it
would. There's no question about that.
But I think, if we say, because that's a
nonconference game, in any way, shape, or form we reflect that
it doesn't matter, I would never say that. But the
championship is still there for really every team in the Big
Ten right now. They all have opportunities and will for weeks
That's always something to fight for, and we're
excited about that opportunity. But I don't think it cushions
the loss to Arizona State in any way.
Moderator: Just for the benefit of the group, the Pac-12
statement has come out fully. I shall read it here.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has reprimanded and
taken additional sanctions against officials at Saturday
night's Wisconsin versus Arizona state game for failing to
properly administer the end of game situation and impact with
appropriate urgency on the final game's play.
With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Wisconsin's
quarterback ran the ball toward the center of the field,
touched his knee to the ground, and then placed the ball on the
ground. There was initial uncertainty over whether the
quarterback had taken a knee, given himself up, or fumbled the
ball. As a result, several Arizona State players considered
the ball live and a fumble and attempted to recover the ball.
Neither the referee nor anyone on his crew moved with
appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to
be spotted so play could resume promptly. This was an unusual
situation to end the game, said Pac-12 commissioner Larry
Scott. After a thorough review, we have determined the
officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games
should be managed. We will continue to work with all officials
to ensure this type of situation never occurs again.
Does that fuller explanation warrant any sort of
Andersen: It doesn't change the outcome,
obviously. And like I said, I don't expect that. But
accountability, which at the end of the day is what we ask for.
Gary, hopefully the last question on what happened
Andersen: I'll bet it's not. Probably not.
Will this prompt you to make any changes with regards
to future road games as to what the officiating crew is --
where they come from?
Andersen: To my knowledge, I have really no
control over that, nor have I -- you know, in my career, as far
as coaching goes, I don't know. I don't know what the process
is to really do that. Whether I guess people could say it
should be the other crew, it should be an outside crew. I
would be completely uneducated if I was to speak on that at
I've never really thought about it. Until about 48
hours ago, to be honest with you also.