"I hope Detmer wins the Heisman. He deserves it. It would be great for the WAC. Plus, he's a great kid."
Who said the above?A. LaVell Edwards.
B. Ty Detmer's mom.
C. A Ute booster.
The answer is C. The person making the comment was Bruce Woodbury, Utah's own Heisman candidate for best sports information director.
In a conversation Thursday, Woodbury said he fears that if a player with BYU quarterback Detmer's numbers doesn't win the award no WAC player ever will.
"You don't know what the eastern voters are thinking. What kind of coverage has Detmer gotten back there?"
Woodbury hopes the Utes will have a player some day who can contend for the Heisman. He figures this year's voting may well determine how feasible that is. U. quarterback Scott Mitchell was a candidate early last season but didn't have an offensive line to give him a chance to put up the numbers Detmer is putting up. Detmer's offensive line will be new next year except for Bryan May. Woodbury figures this is the year for Detmer and the WAC to get the Heisman.
MORE HEISMAN STUFF: A couple of recent polls show the race is wide open. The sports daily The National contacted a cross-section of 58 Heisman voters this week and got the following totals (they only asked for first-place votes): 1. Raghib Ismail, Notre Dame, 18; 2. Eric Bienemy, Colorado, 13; 3. Detmer, BYU, 121/2; 4. Shawn Moore, Virginia, 101/2; 5. Greg Lewis, Washington 2.
A recent poll of 87 Heisman voters by the Houston Chronicle had Houston's David Klingler leading, followed by Detmer, Moore and Ismail. But that was before Klingler had a rough day against Texas last week. Both polls involved less than 10 percent of the voters - there are more than 900.
The National's college football editor, Steve Clow, believes Ismail ranks high because he plays for Notre Dame.
"If I had a vote, I'd vote for Detmer. The guy has been phenomenal. I think the media is swayed by Notre Dame's mystique. I don't think Rocket is having a Tim Brown year. I think people are rewarding him for the threat he poses rather than the actual damage."
PATERNO TO DETMER'S RESCUE? Continuing the Heisman theme, Ray Parillo of Knight Ridder Newspapers notes that Penn State, which plays Notre Dame today, has been tough on Heisman candidates. Writes Parillo:
Nowhere in the Heisman Trophy acceptance speeches delivered by Marcus Allen, Herschel Walker or Vinny Testaverde was there mention of Penn State. After all, why dredge up bad memories?
In the 1982 Fiesta Bowl against Allen and Southern Cal and in the 1983 Sugar Bowl against Walker and Georgia, Penn State surrounded those great tailbacks with chain link fences. Allen had 85 yards on 30 carries; Walker needed 28 runs for his 103 yards. Pedestrian numbers by their standards. And in the '87 Fiesta Bowl, Vinny the Rifle got muffled as the Lions intercepted the Miami quarterback five times and held him without a scoring pass.
Which brings us to Saturday, when 18th-ranked Penn State takes on top-ranked Notre Dame and its Heisman Trophy candidate, a bullet named Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, in South Bend, Ind . . .
LOCAL FORECASTS: The season ends today for Utah against BYU with the Cougars hoping to clinch the WAC title in Rice Stadium before playing Hawaii on Dec. 1. Utah State tries for its fifth victory against Pacific and Weber State ends its season at McNeese State.
BYU 55, Utah 17
Coach Ron McBride's Utes are building. Coach LaVell Edwards' Cougars are destroying. Give McBride three or four years to get his program in place. Right now he has to take his lumps against the Cougs like every other WAC team has this season.
Utah State 34, Pacific 31
This week the Aggies try to stop Troy Kopp, who ranks just behind Klingler and Detmer in total offense, and next week they get Detmer. They should slow Kopp enough to get a win and assure themselves of a .500 season.
Weber State 38, McNeese State 27
The Wildcats close out a much better year in Dave Arslanian's second season than his first one. Quarterback Jamie Martin again leads the way.