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Leaf: Thanks, But Give It To Jake Washington State Qb Named Pac-10 Player Of The Week

On Saturdays, Ryan Leaf often changes plays at the line of scrimmage.

On Mondays, the Washington State quarterback audibles.

But Leaf, named offensive player of the week Monday by the Pacific-10 Conference, didn’t call his own number on the one day each week he reserves for interviews.

Instead, he called Jake Plummer’s.

“I really didn’t expect to get the award after a non-conference game,” said Leaf, who threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday’s 52-16 win over San Jose State. “I think somebody like Jake (of Arizona State) is really worthy to get it.

“He played against a good Pac-10 team like Oregon and had a big day, threw four touchdowns. But I’m honored to get it.”

Leaf, who threw for a school-record 303 yards in the first half Saturday, leads Pac-10 quarterbacks with 13 touchdown passes. The second-year sophomore has thrown just two interceptions, and his efficiency rating of 168.1 is better than any Pac-10 player with more than 15 attempts.

Those statistics, compiled mostly against poor defensive teams, might be more difficult to maintain this week, when the Cougars (3-1 overall, 1-0 Pac-10) visit Arizona (2-2, 0-1).

Leaf, who strained his right hamstring against the Spartans, did not practice much Monday. He walked with a slight limp, but is expected to be ready for Arizona.

Notes:

- Receivers Chad Carpenter and Kevin McKenzie lead the Pac-10 in two major categories.

Carpenter has caught six touchdown passes; McKenzie is averaging 24.7 yards per reception, tops among players with at least 10 catches.

- The Arizona game, which starts at 7 p.m., will not be televised live. Prime Sports will replay it Sunday morning at 9.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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