ASU 42, UCLA 34
October 12, 1996
Weather: 87 degrees, clear
See Jake pass, see Jake catch, see Jake run.
Simple, yes, but a formula that does not lack any dramatics. And if your team is down 13 on the road in the fourth quarter, with perhaps a conference crown and an undefeated season on the line, the formula simply works.
ASU quarterback Jake Plummer threw for a touchdown, caught a pass for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown -- all in the final 7:24 of the game -- to rally No. 4 Arizona State to a 42-34 win against UCLA before 66,107 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Plummer's heroic hat trick helped lift the Sun Devils to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-10. The Bruins fell to 2-3, 1-1 in conference play.
ASU fell behind 28-7 early and trailed 34-21 late. But befitting a team with tremendous leadership, the Sun Devils refused to push the proverbial panic button.
Plummer found sophomore wideout Kenny Mitchell in the end zone with 7:24 left, trimming the lead to 34-28. UCLA got the ball at its own 20, but tailback Skip Hicks fumbled the ball and strong safety Damien Richardson recovered, giving ASU the ball at the Bruin 16.
After UCLA stuffed a running play for no gain, tailback J.R. Redmond took a pitch, drifted right, then threw the ball back across the field in the direction of Plummer. Plummer caught the ball, followed a block from wideout Keith Poole, then slithered through two tackles en route to a dive across the goalline.
"It didn't totally go as we had planned," ASU head coach Bruce Snyder said. "We felt we could get Jake open down the boundary, but he cut right back into the teeth of the Bruins. It was a great run. He is so slippery. I guess that's why he is the Snake."
Indeed. In fact, the play -- installed in practice that week -- was christened the "Snake Pass" in deference to Plummer's nickname.
"I had some jukes in my bag and I pulled them out when I needed to," Plummer said. "Keith Poole owed me one for a couple of those reverses where I threw some blocks for him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have gotten in."
Robert Nycz tacked on the extra point and the Sun Devils suddenly had a 35-34 lead ith 6:33 remaining.
But UCLA was far from finished. Sophomore quarterback Cade McNown, who had a spght until he found the end zone from two yards out on the 10th play of the drive, pushing the ASU lead to 28 points. Farlow finished with a career-high 125 yards on the ground.
The Broncos still couldn't muster anything on offense and, after using two timeouts to stop the clock, the Sun Devils forced BSU to punt with 1:44 left in the half. Boyer took the punt and scrambled 43 yards to the Bronco 34. Plummer, after hitting Jackson for 23 yards, drove ASU to the Boise State one-yard line before running around the right end and second-and-goal for the score. The Sun Devils headed into the lockerroom with a 42-7 lead.
Snyder rested most of his starters in the second half, and ASU only attempted seven passes, but the Sun Devil defense got in on the scoring. Linebacker Pat Tillman intercepted a pass on BSU's opening possession of the second stanza and ran 16 yards for a touchdown. Late in the game, reserve end Derrick Ford forced a fumble, recovered it and scampered 55 yards for a touchdown to end the onslaught.
"I think the defense is the single most improved part of our team," Snyder said. "All three basic units are playing well and that's a direct reflection of those coaches doing a spectacular job and the players responding to that."
After the rout, all thoughts centered on ASU's first road trip of the season, a venture to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA.
"I think they're anxious to go on the road," Snyder said of his troops. "And I'm anxious to see them. I want to see if an environment change will change the way we play. "I have no reason to believe it will."
- ASU moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1982.
- The Sun Devils had 398 yards of total offense in the first half.
- ASU's 56 points was its highest scoring output since a 62-36 win at Stanford in 1981.
- ASU inched to fourth in the AP Poll and moved from seventh to fifth in the USA Today/CNN Coaches' Poll.
Score By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F Arizona State 7 7 7 21 42 UCLA 21 7 6 0 34 Team Statistics ASU UCLA 25 First Downs 26 119 Net Yards Rushing 112 291 Net Yards Passing 395 410 Total Offense 507 20-38-2 Passing: Cmp-Att-Int 22-42-1 6-46.2 Punting 7-38.3 0-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-2 7-51 Penalties 9-44 26:57 Time of Possession 33:03
ASU: Redmond 15-45-0; Plummer 14-34-1; Paulk 2-20-0; Battle 8-16-0; Martin 2-4-0.
UCLA: Hicks 22-114-2; Walendy 3-7-0; Price 11-7-0; McNown 8-(-)16-0.
ASU: Plummer 19-36-275-3-1; Redmond 1-1-16-1-0; Boyer 0-1-0-0-1.
UCLA: McNown 22-41-395-3-1; Price 0-1-0-0-0.
ASU: Poole 7-112-2; Boyer 6-57-0; Jackson 5-83-0; Mitchell 1-23-1; Plummer 1-16-1.
UCLA: Farmer 4-43-0; Clark 3-65-0; Ayers 3-60-1; McBride 3-27-1; Scott 3-49-0; McElroy 2-105-1; Caldwell 1-13-0; Grieb 1-8-0; Walendy 1-7-0; Hicks 1-18-0.
Quarter Team-Scoring Play (Conversion) Score
1 UCLA- McBride 11-yard pass from McNown (Merten kick) 7-0
1 ASU- Battle 99-yard kickoff return (Nycz kick) 7-7
1 UCLA- McElroy 55-yard pass from McNown (Merten kick) 14-7
1 UCLA- Hicks four-yard run (Merten kick) 21-7
2 UCLA- Ayers 39-yard pass from McNown (Merten kick) 28-7
2 ASU- Poole 15-yard pass from Plummer (Nycz kick) 28-14
3 ASU- Poole 17-yard pass from Plummer (Nycz kick) 28-21
3 UCLA- Hicks two-yard run (kick failed) 34-21
4 ASU- Mitchell 23-yard pass from Plummer (Nycz kick) 34-28
4 ASU- Plummer 16-yard pass from Redmond (Nycz kick) 34-35
4 ASU- Plummer one-yard run (Nycz kick) 34-42