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Kealy Leads Sun Devils in Upset

September 14, 1997|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Jake who?

Ryan Kealy showed he may indeed be the successor to Jake Plummer as he led No. 24 Arizona State to a 23-12 upset of No. 13 Miami Saturday.

The Hurricanes' last four losses have come at the Orange Bowl, where they once won 58 consecutive games. The redshirt freshman completed 18 of 26 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown, but was most impressive because of his composure on the Hurricanes' home turf.

"I wasn't intimidated by the Orange Bowl," Kealy said. "It kind of has a homey feel to it."

Since the streak ended in 1994, the Hurricanes (1-1) are 13-5 at the Orange Bowl.

The victory was similar to last season when the Plummer-led Sun Devils upset Nebraska in Tempe. Arizona State went on to win the Pac-10 title and finish 11-1 after losing to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

"The major difference was we were able to do it on the road. That may make it as big or bigger than Nebraska," Sun Devil Coach Bruce Snyder said. "It is one game. I've got to keep putting that in perspective, but boy is it big. We had an unknown team in a lot of positions."

Because of that, the Sun Devils (2-0) were overlooked in the preseason polls despite their success last season with Plummer. "I brought it up a couple times to them," Snyder said. "I like to think they have a chip on their shoulders."

Arizona State beat the Hurricanes with a balanced attack as tailbacks Mike Martin and J.R. Redmond both ran for more than 100 yards and wore down the Hurricanes.

Martin had 105 yards and a touchdown, while Redmond added 103 yards and also caught five passes for 46 yards.

Kealy showed his scrambling ability and poise--especially on third down--against the Hurricanes. The Sun Devils converted nine of 17 third downs, while Miami went one for 11.

"I'm not trying to fill Jake's shoes. I'm just trying to be my own quarterback," he said.

After throwing an interception, Kealy drove the Sun Devils 80 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to swing the momentum in Arizona State's favor. With the scored tied 6-6, he connected on two third-down plays to sustain the drive. Then on third and nine at the Miami 17, Kealy passed to Ricky Boyer for a touchdown that made it 13-6.

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