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Jake Plummer and Taylor Kelly: Comparisons of both Great ASU Quarterbacks
Mike Howell
By , DieHardDevil.com
January 17, 2014 3:47 PM

He (Jake) had this sixth sense to see opportunities when there were none.

It’s been 20 years (1993) since a star quarterback from Idaho named Jake Plummer arrived at Arizona State. Due to some eerie similarities, we will look at Jake Plummer and Taylor Kelly. Jake will always be heralded by Sun Devil fans as one of the best quarterbacks ever to play for ASU. In his senior season, Jake was also one of the most exciting college football signal-callers in the nation.

In ASU’s epic 1996 season, many close games turned into unbelievable Sun Devil victories, and they came on the toes of Jake Plummer, literally. It wasn’t rare to watch plays unfold where the Devils looked like they were beat, and everyone in the stadium would sense it along with the opposing defense. But then Jake would rise up. He had this sixth sense to see opportunities when there were none. He would tuck the ball and tap dance around defensive linemen, often going untouched as they scratched and clawed at his jersey. Not only would he avoid the lost down, but Jake would pick-up crucial yards and then some.

#16 Jake Plummer in the 1997 Rose Bowl

#16 Jake Plummer in the 1997 Rose Bowl

Today, ASU’s quarterback also hails from the state of Idaho, connecting Jake Plummer and Taylor Kelly. Kelly, who has naturally looked up to Jake Plummer, has also made a name for himself and could leave his own legacy in Tempe. With a third and final season to come, Kelly has already proven to be one of the most effective quarterbacks in the country. 

Let’s compare the production of Jake Plummer and Taylor Kelly. It’s worth noting that Jake played in 9 games as a freshman. In fact, he was the first freshman to start as QB for ASU since 1984. Taylor, on the other hand took just 6 snaps as a freshman. Because of this, let’s compare both players’ sophomore and junior seasons– first Jake and then Taylor.

 jake plummer and taylor kelly

Passing statistics for both QB’s:

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In 1994 and 1995, Plummer started all 22 games. At that time, teams played only 11 games per season. He accumulated 4,401 yards with 32 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Plummer finished with a completion percentage of 56% in those 2 years.

In 2012 and 2013, Kelly started all 27 games. The 5 game difference with Plummer is due to the 12 regular season games that teams play today. Additionally, ASU reached 2 bowl games under Kelly along with the Pac-12 title game. In all, Kelly amassed 6,674 yards, 57 touchdowns and 21 interceptions as a sophomore and junior. He finished with a completion percentage of 65%.

 

Taylor Kelly

Taylor Kelly in 55-21 win over Washington St. on Halloween (Photo by Steve Kelly, TK’s uncle, for DieHardDevil.com)

Here are the rushing figures for Jake Plummer and Taylor Kelly:

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On the ground, Plummer scored 2 touchdowns and ran for a total of, get this, -119 yards. Kelly has scored 10 touchdowns and accumulated 1,124 yards on the ground. Cont. on pg. 2

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