The Pac-12 has two clear favorites to win it all, and one major reason is the deep lineup of defensive talent both squads can sport. The Washington Huskies had the best defense in the Pac-12, but the USC Trojans proved their defense was more than capable of holding down Washington for at least one week.
The Bronko Nagurski Award preseason nominees were announced last week, with 13 Pac-12 players getting recognized. USC had three players represented in defensive lineman Rasheem Green, linebacker Cameron Smith, and defensive back Iman Marshall. Washington had four players in defensive linemen Greg Gaines and Vita Vea, linebacker Azeem Victor, and safety Taylor Rapp.
Let’s take a look at who got nominated from the other schools.
- Utah Utes safety Chase Hansen and defensive lineman Lowell Lotulelei
- Washington State Cougars defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa
- California Golden Bears defensive lineman James Looney
- Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman Jojo Wicker
- Stanford Cardinal cornerback Quenton Meeks