ASU continued to show marked improvement in a tough loss to UW this weekend. One of the main reasons this team has improved is the growth and gained experience of the new players on the team.
Two players were able to come back for ASU this week after being out with injuries. Speedy Darryl Lightfoot returned from a bad ankle injury and played quite a bit on special teams, while getting in on some offense. It is hoped he will be full go next week against Oregon, a team that recruited him heavily. Michael Holloway, the RSFR safety also returned to the field and saw a few snaps in the second half.
Jimmy Verdon continued his solid play at LE, and is still fighting to gain the starting spot. He had a sack, and a couple of pass breakups, and was in on quite a few tackles. By the end of the year he will probably be the teams most improved player.
Jason Shivers was again the star of the defense. What more can be said about this young stud. His 17 tackles, ( the coaches counted 18) led the team, and several of them were solid hits, stunting offensive players progress immediately. He also has been great on coverage, and we are expecting a turnover from him before too long.
RS FR RJ Oliver, played every defensive down on Saturday and was praised by his coaches afterwards. He is a sure tackler with good closing speed, but is still adjusting to the college game. He gives ASU fans a lot of hope for their secondary for years to come. His counterparts Emmanuel Franklin and Lamar Baker split time, and played better in the second half. These two figure to improve and help ASU form a solid secondary for years to come.
Drew Hogdon was able to see some valuable time at LG in the first and second half. This scout team award winner from a year ago figures heavily into ASU's future plans, and it was nice to see him get some quality snaps against a quality opponent like Larry Triplett.
Perhaps the hit of the night went to...... Andrew Walter backup qb. In a play where he lined up wide left, Pace ran to his side, and Walter used his speed to really nail a would be tackler. This play fired up the entire sideline of ASU, as well as the fans and student section. More importantly Walter was able to come in and spell Krohn when he got hurt, and help the team score a TD. Walter has been an unknown as far as what he will do in a game situation, but that display showed quite a bit of fire and heart from an obviously talented player. Perhaps that may be a turning point in his young career.
Special teams had its best game of the year, and many freshman play on special teams, so it is nice to see they are coming of age.
With more games like this, ASU will learn what it takes to play four quarters of strong football, and hopefully start winning some of the close games.
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