With a horrible performance in almost every phase of the game, one would be hard pressed to find any outstanding Sun Devil players after the loss to Stanford. Therefore, the first year players had time standing out as well. Here's a summary of the contributions of the Sun Devil players making their debut this season:
Daryl Lightfoot, along with the rest of the offense, had a very quiet game. The wide receiver caught only 3 passes for 20 yards, and rushed once for 5 yards. However, he was one of the only bright spots on special teams returning one kickoff for 22 yards. The game was a trial by fire for the true freshman, who played his first road game as well as Pac-10 game. Time is on his side, and fans who have been accustomed to his supreme athletic ability, should see more of the same in future games. Lightfoot's brief and successful appearance as a kick-off returner may be the spark this struggling special teams is yearning for. The other newcomer on offense to play against Stanford was quarterback Andrew Walter, who just like in ASU's first game of the season, came in late in the first half to attempt a hail mary pass from several yards away. Walter's appearances in the game can be construed as lack of confidence in starting quarterback's Jeff Krohn's arm strength.
The first year cornerbacks, R.J. Oliver and Emmanuel Franklin Stewart had a cruel introduction into Pac-10 play. The Stanford receivers had their with the ASU defenders all night, and exploited the one-on-one coverage the 4-2-5 defensive scheme offers. The numbers of tackles the two corners have amassed can mislead in believing that they had a good game. Nonetheless, most of those tackles were after the Stanford wideouts gained considerable yards. R.J. Oliver had 7 total (assisted and unassisted) tackles with one pass deflection; While Franklin had 2 tackles with one pass deflection as well. Free safety Riccardo Stewart was the leader in tackles for the second straight time with a total of 8.
The backups saw significant playing time in the blowout loss. For the most part, these newcomers took full advantage of their playing time and show some good effort in the waning moments of the game. Safety Michael Holloway had 4 tackles; one for loss, and fellow safety Jason Shivers had 4 tackles himself. Cornerback Lamar Baker 3 tackles with one for a loss. In a peculiar move, linebacker Bart Hammit (who had one tackle) who was penciled in to redshirt this year did play in a few plays and thus blew his redshirt status. With the abundance of depth at this position, one may wonder why the move was made. A trio of defensive linemen, who saw action in the Devils' first game, did saw again. Phil Howard assisted on one tackle, and his fellow linemen Khoa Nguyen and Jared Wolfgramm saw played without recording a tackle.
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