Four Key Role Players in the Clash Between the Sun Devils and Aggies
James Romo
By ,
August 30, 2015 4:49 PM

This game will have a typical home game atmosphere for Texas A&M and their famed “12th Man” fan base

This is DieHard’s first installment of the “Role Players” series. In game #1 between the Sun Devils and Aggies, we’ll key in on four players who we believe are pivotal to each team’s success or failure.

Every team’s “headliners” are valuable game in and game out, but sometimes it’s a different player or match-up that will have the biggest consequences on the day.


ASU vs A&M in Houston, TX

ASU vs A&M in Houston, TX



ASU on Offense

Left Tackle, Evan Goodman

Left Tackle, Evan Goodman

Red Shirt Junior LT Evan Goodman

Goodman takes over for 3-year starter Jamil Douglas at the pivotal left tackle position who is tasked with protecting the blind side of senior QB Mike Bercovici. Bercovoci has proven to be sufficient on his feet, but if given the time, he can pick apart great defenses.

Goodman was one of the most athletic tackles ever recruited by ASU, but has not yet satisfied our higher expectations. In camp however, Goodman showed signs of settling in as the dependable big guy we envisioned for the Devils.

In his first career start, Goodman will go head-to-head with Aggie sack-monster, sophomore DE Lyle Garrett who earned freshman All-American accolades last season. If ASU is to stay evenly matched with the “big uglies” of A&M on Saturday, Goodman is the one to watch. 


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ASU on Defense

True sophomore Field Safety Armand Perry

Perry takes over for NFL first-rounder, Damarious Randall, who excelled in Tempe. Much like Randall, Perry possesses cornerback cover skills. However, Field Side Safety is a new role for Perry which calls on him to be more of a quarterback on defense, reading formations and calling out coverages.  

Coach Todd Graham has groomed the youngster out of Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas to be a standout in his secondary. Expect A&M to have QB Kyle Allen (from Arizona) go long over the middle early in order to see what they are working with in ASU’s sophomore. Armond Perry must shine by not only canvassing more of the field but also bringing the necessary speed and coverage to the Aggie’s best receivers in space.





Texas A&M on Offense

True Freshman WR/KR Christian Kirk

As the #1-rated recruit in Arizona last year, Christian Kirk (Scottsdale Saguaro HS) chose to take his horribly electric play-making skills to the Lone-star state.

Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin will likely have the versatile Kirk return kicks and line him up at different spots on offense as one of his newest receiver threats. 

From their recruiting efforts, Todd Graham and ASU Offensive Coordinator Mike Norvell are well aware of Kirk’s shiftiness. They will account for his whereabouts in what is expected to be an explosive A&M offense. 

Watch for an improved ASU special teams unit that has worked hard in the off-season to negate big returns from players the likes of Christian Kirk.



Texas A&M on Defense

A&M DE Lyle Garrett

A&M DE Lyle Garrett

True DE Sophomore Lyle Garrett

This is a player. Garrett earned second-team All-SEC honors and consensus freshman All-America honors last season. He will tote his resume of 11.5 sacks from last year into the opener with ASU.

There aren’t many players that possess the size and explosiveness of Garrett. Right now he is licking his chops to square off with ASU’s aforementioned first-time starter, Senior Evan Goodman.

Texas A&M’s best pass-rusher is set on making a statement on Saturday by stalling ASU’s fast-paced offense. If Garrett can do so with just a four-man rush, the Sun Devils will have problems finding their offensive rhythm.



This ESPN televised battle between contenders in the PAC-12 South and the SEC West is considered by many to be the biggest match-up in the first weekend of 2015 College Football. Although the Sun Devils and Aggies have never met, this one is beginning to feel like somewhat of a rivalry game. Do you feel it?


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Kickoff is 4:00 PM Arizona Time



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