The loss — in which ASU's defense allowed USC to score just one touchdown on 258 yards of total offense — and the loss that followed against Oregon (44-21) mean the 4-6 Devils must win out to be eligible for a bowl. This includes the season-ending home game against the University of Arizona Wildcats. If the Sun Devils falter this Saturday against UCLA in Pasadena or against their bitter Territorial Cup rival on November 28, many of the seniors will never play competitive football again.

Nixon, who clutches his helmet by the face mask with his right hand after the USC loss, continues toward the field exit as the ASU marching band launches into an upbeat ditty. Players from both teams congregate in a prayer circle at the interlocked "AS" logo at the 50-yard line while the bright lights of an ESPN camera crew huddle around Trojans Coach Pete Carroll.

Jamie Peachey
Mike Nixon (25) in pursuit against the Washington Huskies.
Jamie Peachey
Mike Nixon (25) in pursuit against the Washington Huskies.

As the battle-worn linebacker walks through the south end zone, he looks up at cheering fans in the bleachers 15 feet above and walks into the shadows of Tillman Tunnel.

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My Voice Nation Help

looks like he made it!

Ken Brickley
Ken Brickley

Who's got the film rights? I am sure someone like Kevin Costner would love to read this Guy's story. It is also good to say the name of Nixon appearing as a good guy instead of tricky Dicky. Well done Steve, it gives a honest impression of sport in the USA from the overpaid to the underdog. It is hard out there, I just wonder what sort of career all these guys will have when their bodies are worn out. I am sure there would be a good article in looking at the fortunes of the players after they retired.


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