ASU's Plummer makes case in Heisman race

By Kevin Clerici
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 15, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat File Photo

Quarterback Jake Plummer did it all for Arizona State in its win over UCLA Saturday. The senior passed for three touchdowns, ran for one and caught another in the game.


Heisman hopefuls, overtime wins and punished quarterbacks top the theatrics in the latest week of the Pacific 10 Conference soap opera.

At the start of this season, Arizona State's Jake Plummer was rarely mentioned with the nation's elite. He was considered a Heisman Trophy candidate, but a long shot.

Then the Sun Devils beat Nebraska. The team became a national contender. ESPN showed up to cover the school. More importantly, Plummer continued to produce.

Scoring five touchdowns this weekend against UCLA - three passing, one running and one receiving - Plummer kept the team on track in a game that almost got away. He finished with 275 yards on 19-of-36 passing in ASU's 42-34 win and was intercepted once. W ith his receiving touchdown, Plummer became the first quarterback in ASU history to throw, run and catch a touchdown in a single game.

Plummer is 10th in the nation in passing efficiency with a 153.2 rating and has a 13-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. Plummer was awarded Pac-10 offensive player of the week for his efforts against UCLA.

"Arizona State should definitely be a contender (for the national championship)," Toledo said.

Stanford forced overtime with Oregon on a game-tying field goal from Kevin Miller, then won it with another on the Cardinal's first overtime possession.

The Ducks have now lost four straight.

The Cardinals got the biggest game out of sophomore quarterback Chad Hutchison's career, who completed 27-of-41 passes for 365 yards, all career bests. Yet it was the defense that won it in overtime by forcing a fumble and recovering it on Oregon's first and only possession.

Knocking the ball loose from quarterback Tony Graziani, who was playing in his first game since injuring his leg five weeks ago, the Cardinal took over for its first overtime possession. Miller hit a 27-yard field goal six plays later and evened Stanford' s Pac-10 record at 1-1.

Hutchinson's 61.8 completion percentage is tops in the league.

Miller's success earned him the Pac-10 player of the week for special teams.

Washington quarterback Brock Huard was not around for the finish of Notre Dame's 54-20 win. Knocked out of the game in the middle of the third quarter, the freshman quarterback was resting on the sideline with a towel over his head.

"Unfortunately, I remember a lot of the game," Huard said. "In some ways, it would have been nice to have been knocked out and not remember any of it."

Huard completed only 8-of-26 passes for 99 yards and was intercepted once.

Washington State's Shad Hinchen returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown in the Cougars' 24-3 victory over Oregon State and then had another interception late in the game. Hinchen received the Pac-10 defensive player of the week award.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.