In a terrific win that may change the course of the season, several young Sun Devils stepped up to key a fantastic victory.
Jason Shivers is the newcomer that is sticking out the most. For the true freshman who won the state's 100 and 200 meter sprints last year, he has become a stabilizing force on defense. Playing as the last man in many packages, as well as covering many receivers in other sets, Shivers is rarely making mistakes, as well as making key tackle after key tackle. By the end of the year, Shivers will probably be forcing turnovers, and should be on the Pac-10 All Freshman team.
The man that Shivers replaced, Riccardo Stewart, still plays frequently, and came in on several passing downs for Willie Daniel to give the team added speed. Like Stewart, RSFR RJ Oliver and Emmanuel Franklin are making great strides. These three young players figure to be the key to the defense for years to come, and if they play like they did on Saturday, the Devils defense will become better each week. Lamar Baker and Adrian Thomas also saw quite a bit of action, and are improving. Both play an important role on special teams, and are a fixture on the two deep chart.
At the end opposite of Terrell Suggs, Jimmy Verdon continues to learn his new position. It shouldn't be long before Verdon is starting, and making big plays often. Verdon has good size and appears to play the run equally as well as the pass. Verdon routinely gets to the passer, and seems to be adjusting nicely to his new position.
TE Frank Maddox had some good blocks down field, and seemed to be getting open, although he wasn't able to get any throws due to the pass rush of OSU.
Other players who got in on special teams were: Barton Hammit, Connor Banks, and OJ Hackett.
Darryl Lightfoot missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury.
Aside of the secondary most newcomers this time around didn't play a key role in the victory. This win was defined by the veterans.
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