The unusual suspects: Week 5

THIS WEEK'S EDITION of the unusual suspects covers youth, coaches, and a tandem of Beaver special teams players who set the tone early.

To put into perspective how long it had been since OSU traveled to Tempe and won, the song "Aquarius" by The Fifth Dimension topped the music charts, the NY Mets won the World Series and Richard Nixon was in the first year of his presidency.

Sean Canfield was super efficient, throwing for 216 yards on 18 of 30 completions and two scores. "Captain Carlsbad" looked comfortable and decisive on most all throws thanks to improved protection from his offensive line.

Jacquizz Rodgers was used just enough to be effective and keep the defense guessing. Rodgers hit the edge early in the game on a toss outside and scampered 32 yards for the Beaver's second score. A lull in the third quarter was just about the only negative on the day as OSU put together 3 1/2 quarters of solid football and created great momentum headed back to Reser Stadium to host the Pac-10 leading Stanford Cardinal.

5) He's big, he's physical and he's fast. Brandon Hardin lowered the BOOM, leveling a would be blocker, knocking him into his kick returner stopping him dead in his tracks.

Hardin has worked in at the right corner spot for the past two weeks, spelling senior Tim Clark -- and most importantly with no drop off in production. Hardin continued to lock down in coverage on Saturday and be a force off the edge in run support. Hardin recorded his first career interception, stepping in front of a Danny Sullivan pass early in the second quarter.

4) After OSU stalled in their first drive, the Beaver defense forced the ASU offense into a three and out. Enter Damola Adeniji and Keo Camat.

ASU punter Trevor Hankins mishandled what was a perfect long snap, scrambled to recover and get the kick off. Adeniji had good pressure and just as Hankins looked as if he'd get the kick off, No. 80 knocked the ball out of his hands.

Camat was quickly on it, knocking the Sun Devil punter to the turf, setting up tremendous field position for what turned into an easy OSU score. The momentum shifted and OSU rode said momentum through the first half, entering halftime up 21-3.

3) They didn't make a tackle, catch or attempt a pass, but coordinators Mark Banker and Danny Langsdorf earned their bread with play calling and schematics.

Banker brought pressure early and often and Sullivan was harassed from the opening drive. Banker utilized athleticism well in getting Hardin, Cameron Collins and Matt LaGrone in the mix more than ever.

On the offensive side of the ball, Langsdorf took shots down field and was successful multiple times. While the fly sweep wasn't effective in terms of yards, it stretched the defense out and every time James Rodgers came in motion they had to honor the fake.

This in turn opened up play action and Canfield benefited greatly, looking like a true senior quarterback. Kudos to adjustments by both Banker and Langsdorf.

2) Questions surrounding burning Astoria product Jordan Poyer's red shirt year may have been squashed.

Poyer is becoming a force on special teams, exhibiting great awareness and athleticism. Poyer was in on multiple special teams plays, making solo tackles on a punt as well as a kick return and assisting on numerous tackles.

Poyer's best highlight was textbook punt coverage. Johnny Hekker boomed a punt that looked destined for the end zone, using his baseball instincts, Poyer streaked down field, found the ball and caught it before it hit the turf. ASU started at their own seven yard line and momentum continued for the Beavers thanks to the awareness of a true freshman.

1) Hallelujah! The front seven was active and aggressive the entire night. While there was only one sack recorded, numerous hurries and monster hits on the quarterback were commonplace for the Beavs.

Matt LaGrone was everywhere on the day and has become a force off the edge.

While ASU did have success in the passing game, it was not because of lack of pressure. Beaver Nation is hoping it's a trend that will continue this season. The effort was tremendous from the front seven and badly needed.

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