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ASU Football: Tyler Johnson recognized as National Defensive Player of the Week

Sacking trees

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Arizona Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There were many stars deserving of praise during Arizona State’s 28-10 victory over Stanford on Friday night. None more, however, than defensive lineman Tyler Johnson. Johnson was honored with the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week award on Sunday morning, with Kentucky QB Will Levis winning the offensive honors.

Johnson had a monster game Friday night, leading a defensive unit that put on a show while shutting down the Cardinal. The Gilbert native registered two sacks, and tallied 3.5 tackles for loss. His sack numbers this season are modest, with just three in the team’s first six games, but Johnson has constantly wreaked havoc in opposing backfields.

ASU’s ability to run the ball has received plenty of attention, as it should. Flying under the radar has been the team’s availability to stop the run on defense, which has been just as important to its success. Johnson, DJ, Davidson, and the bruising trio of Sun Devil linebackers have kept Pac-12 running backs on their heels. They held Stanford to nine rushing yards (you read that right) and were suffocating in the pass rush as well.