Score by Quarters
In a low-scoring 1997 Rose Bowl Game in which the two defenses combined to sack the opposing quarterbacks 11 times, it was the quarterbacks who got back up to author the late-game heroics.
Just after Jake “The Snake” Plummer brought his Arizona State Sun Devils on a 58-yard touchdown drive to take the lead with 1:40 to play, Ohio State’s Joe Germaine snatched it right back with 19 seconds left after a 65-yard touchdown drive, the Buckeyes holding on to win, 20-17. .
“We think Joe’s the best at dropping back and finding the open receiver,” said Ohio State Head Coach John Cooper, who became the first coach to ever win the Rose Bowl Game coaching both Big Ten and Pac-10 schools. “It’s been a Cinderella story for a guy like Joe.”
Added freshman wide receiver David Boston on the game-winning touchdown – Boston caught not only that touchdown but also a first-quarter strike: “We’ve been doing a double slant all year long. I don’t know why I was so wide open in the end zone. I saw (Germaine) nod his head at me.”
But it wasn’t over. ASU blocked the ensuing PAT try to stay within three points. After a 20-yard kickoff return, Plummer connected on passes of 13 and 17 yards, making it to the Ohio State 35-yard line before time expired.
“It is tough to take this last game as a Sun Devil,” Plummer said. “We just ran out of time.”
Plummer, of course, would go on to throw for nearly 30,000 yards in 10 seasons in the NFL, including 4,089 with the Denver Broncos in 2005, which would have come as no surprise to Sun Devil left tackle Juan Roque.
“I’ll remember him as the toughest (guy) I’ve ever met,” Roque said.
Player of the Game honors were passed out less on numbers and more on timing, as it was awarded to Germaine. He completed nine of 17 passes for just 131 yards, most of that coming on his third-quarter, 72-yard touchdown pass to Dimitrious Stanley, but his late-game calm under fire made him deserving of the award.
Then there’s that Buckeye defense, which held a high-powered ASU offense to season lows in points, yards rushing (75) and total offense (276).
With the Ohio State victory, both teams finished 11-1. It rained during parts of the game, the first time in more than 40 years it rained on the Rose Bowl Game.
Overcast; 68 degrees
OSU – Boston, 9-yard pass from S. Jackson (Jackson kick good)
ASU – R. Boyer, 25-yard pass from Plummer (Nycz kick good)
ASU – Nycz, 37-yard field goal
OSU – Stanley, 72-yard pass from Germaine (Jackson kick good)
ASU – Plummer, 11-yard run (Nycz kick good)
OSU – Boston, 5-yard pass from Germaine (Jackson kick good)
Ohio State: John Cooper
Arizona State: Bruce Snyder
Ohio State quarterback Joe Germaine, who grew up within several miles of the Arizona State campus but wasn’t recruited as a quarterback because it already had future NFL player Jake Plummer, tossed a 5-yard winning touchdown pass to freshman David Boston with only 19 seconds left to play.
OSU: Pearson 13-111; Wiley 7-32; S. Jackson 5-6; Keller 2-4
ASU: T. Battle 18-34; Redmond 8-26; Poole 1-13; Paulk3-7
OSU: Germaine 17-131; S. Jackson 14-59
ASU: Plummer 35-201
OSU: Stanley 5-124; Boston 4-20; Keller 3-24
ASU: T. Battle 5-30; L. Jackson 5-71; Bush 3-41; R. Boyer 3-39; Paulk 1-3; Kendall 1-7; Poole 1-10
OSU: Bartholomew 8-359
ASU: Anderson 8-344