This competitiveness has value: It discourages submission and fuels comebacks. Eight times in his career Plummer has brought the Sun Devils back from fourth-quarter deficits, never letting a game or a play die without a struggle. "Jake is like the little kid at recess who cuts open his arm and still wants to keep playing," says friend Isaiah Mustafa, a Sun Devils wide receiver. "Jake never wants recess to end."
Stanford learned. With Saturday's game still young and scoreless, Cardinal linebacker Brian Batson blitzed and arrived untouched at Plummer's right side. Seemingly doomed, Plummer stepped inside Batson—"Just trying to stay alive," he said later—and threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to J.R. Redmond. Batson was left Hailing, empty-handed, trying to do what can't be done this autumn, trying to catch a Snake with his bare hands.