SO can someone explain precisely what the officials were supposed to have done in this game between Ariz. St and Wisconsin?
Some of the blame is on the officials, some on the Wisconsin QB. What should have happened was after the ball is snapped, he runs to the center of the field and takes a knee (downing the ball). His offensive line should then immediately reset for a spike as soon as the official spots the ball, allowing a substitution for the field goal unit, and then kicking the field goal to win the game. You must be set for one full second before snapping the ball.
What actually happened is the QB merely put the ball down on the ground (technically a fumble), then declared himself "down" to the backjudge. Meanwhile, the defense interprets that as a fumble and pounces on the ball, and the offense stands around looking like idiots when they should be lining up for the spike. The officials all stood around looking at each other like they didn't know what to do, when they finally spotted the ball with four seconds left to go in the game.
Had the offensive line been ready for the spike play at 4 seconds, none of that would have mattered. But in the end, everyone made mistakes.