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ASU now winless and unranked

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 15, 1998
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The Arizona State Sun Devils have fallen out of the Top 25 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls after losing their second game of the season, 26-6, to Brigham Young. Oct. 12, 1997 was the last time a Top 25 poll was sans Sun Devils. ASU started this season ranked eighth, but after losses to Washington and BYU they find themselves in the "others receiving votes" category. This is also their first 0-2 start since the 1979 season and the first for head coach Bruce Snyder in his 7-year tenure at the school.

After a weekend in which Pacific 10 Conference schools went 6-2, three somewhat surprising players stood out above the rest and were named Pac-10 players of the week: Flanker Freddie Mitchell of UCLA, linebacker David Gibson of Southern Cal and kicker Nathan Villegas of Oregon.

Mitchell, a freshman, opened the scoring in the 49-31 shootout victory over then-No. 23 Texas by throwing a 34-yard touchdown pass off a reverse. He accounted for 233 all-purpose yards for the Bruin offense, including four receptions for 108 yards, a rush for 30 yards, three kickoff returns for 78 yards and three punt returns for 17 yards.

Gibson, a junior for the Trojans, was a key to holding the San Diego State Aztecs' offense to 6 points, 231 total offensive yards and only 11 first downs. Gibson had eight solo tackles including three sacks. He also forced three fumbles and recovered one. Gibson's honor is the second of its kind in as many weeks for a Trojan defensive player. Cornerback Antuan Simmons had the honor last week.

Villegas was perfect on four field goal attempts from 19, 49, 32 and 32 yards and connected on all three extra-point attempts in the 33-26 Oregon victory over the University of Texas-El Paso. His 49-yard field goal was the longest by a Duck kicker in five years. For the season, Villegas is a perfect 6 of 6 on field goals and 9 for 9 on extra point attempts.

R. Jay Soward

R. Jay Soward of Southern Cal was suspended for the first game of the season by head coach Paul Hackett for academic problems. The second game was a different story for the junior wide receiver. Against San Diego State, he caught the ball nine times for 256 total yards. He has a total of 21 touchdowns in his Trojan career, which gives him a touchdown for every five times he has touched the ball. His 256 yards were compiled by four receptions for 94 yards, three rushes for 69 yards, a kickoff return of 19 yards as well as a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown. He scored three of the five Southern Cal touchdowns in their 35-6 victory. Soward also appeared to score on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst, but it was called back on a holding penalty.

Pac-10 Heisman Watch:

Cade McNown
Cade McNown, UCLA: He cruised in a 49-31 rout of Texas by completing 20 of 30 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was not sacked in the game. It was the 16th straight game in which he has thrown for 200 yards or more. He was 13 of 17 for 222 yards in the first half alone. Next weekend, the Heisman watch for McNown continues on the road against the University of Houston.

Chris McAlister, Arizona: He wasn't pleased with his performance, even though the numbers say otherwise. He was burned deep by Stanford's preseason All-America Troy Walters for 67 yards, but other than that it was just an average day for McAlister. He had his first interception of the season on a pass thrown by Todd Husak, as well as five tackles and three passes broken up. McAlister was an essential element in the Wildcat defense that held Stanford to 14 points. Next weekend he is at home for the first time this season against Iowa.

Brock Huard, Washington: Did not play this weekend due to the bye week. Next weekend begins his Heisman quest again at home in Seattle against a now proven BYU team.

J.R. Redmond, ASU: May have taken himself out of the Heisman race with a poor performance and another ASU loss. Redmond, who last weekend put together 108 yards rushing, 68 yards receiving and a 61 yard punt return, was a much different player against the BYU defense as he was held to just 28 yards on 16 carries. He also caught three passes for 26 yards in the losing cause. He does have a chance to redeem himself and get back into the race next weekend against the Mean Green from Northern Texas.

Daily Wildcat projected leader: Cade McNown

Dan Rosen can be reached via e-mail at

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