Nixon Shines in Overall Defensive Effort

The Sun Devils are 7-0, and a large part of their success has been due to the steadfast and at times explosive defense. This unit has had at least one interception in their last nine games, and an interception returned for a touchdown in each of their last three contests. Linebacker Mike Nixon was an important element in Saturday night's victory over Washington.

Washington's freshman quarterback, Jake Locker, not only had the ability to lush out of the pocket, but also had an effective passing game at times to boot. "Their offense revolved around [Jake Locker] and we knew we needed to take him out and make him throw it," explained Nixon. "We knew he could run so we had to take what he does best away, and it worked out."

Nixon, who had five tackles and a fumble recovery filling in for Morris Wooten, was given the opportunity to prove himself in the sought after win that would distinguish the Devils as the only undefeated team in the PAC-10. The defense was successful in holding the Washington offense to only three points in the second half. "After watching last week's film Coach Bray told me if I played good in practice he was going to try and get me in there a little more," recalled Nixon. "I have been playing really well and that's all you can hope for is the opportunity, and tonight I got it. I had a couple of mistakes out there, but I just have to do better."

An Arizona native, Nixon, thrives off the support he receives when playing at home in front of his friends and family. "It's awesome. I've played enough with no family and friends around so it's great when you get a chance to come home," said Nixon who played in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization out of high school. "There's nothing like winning when you have your family in the crowd."

The sophomore middle side linebacker gave up a career in minor league baseball last year in order to focus solely on his football aspirations. "Where my life was going and my career in baseball, I really didn't think that was the best opportunity for me," noted Nixon. "After making the decision, I have never looked back."

The maroon and gold have continued to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the PAC-10. They have shown unwavering determination during their thus far undefeated campaign. As they strive to maintain a perfect record, the players and coaches alike focus on the importance of taking it one game at a time. "Looking at the schedule at the beginning of the year, I thought we had a good chance (for a good season)," said Nixon. "We've showed up every day and so far we've done it. We just have to keep it up."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories