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ASU Football: Opposing players to watch- Stanford

The Cardinal come to Tempe Oct. 18.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

The Cardinal's trip south will be one of the most highly anticipated conference match ups in the Pac-12 next season with the Sun Devils looking to avenge their two losses from last season. Stanford loses a pair of highly productive running backs in Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson but return some of the premier talent in the Pac-12. Here are our three players to watch:

Offense: Ty Montgomery (6-foot-2, 215 pounds)

The senior should be one of the most potent in the Pac-12 next season, catching 61 balls for 958 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013. He had nine receptions for 131 yards and three touchdowns in two games against the Sun Devils last season. He will be junior quarterback Kevin Hogan's favorite target once again in 2014 and was also a huge threat on kick returns last season, running back 36 returns for a total of 1,091 yards and two touchdowns.

Defense: A.J. Tarpley (6-foot-2, 238 pounds)

It's going to be difficult for the Cardinal to replace the production of a player like Shayne Skov, but Tarpley may be up to the task. A senior, he will be the leading returning tackler from last season for the Cardinal. The inside linebacker finished second on the team with 93 tackles and had a sack and an interception as well. He will anchor a solid core of returning linebackers alongside senior James Vaughters. Tarpley had 13 total tackles against the Sun Devils in 2013.

Defense: Wayne Lyons (6-foot-1, 196 pounds)

Between Lyons, a senior, and junior Alex Carter, the Cardinal will have a formidable pass defense once again. Lyons had 11 total tackles, and a season high of nine in one game, against the Sun Devils last season and was fifth on the team with 69 total tackles. He should be the matchup against Jaelen Strong, who had 12 catches for 168 yards and was one of the lone bright spots for the Sun Devils in the first game against the Cardinal last season.