Poll: Top defense in 2014?
This is how the top five scoring defenses played out last year:
- Stanford (19.0 points per game)
- Oregon (20.5)
- USC (21.2)
- Washington (22.8)
- UCLA (23.2)
Who got the better end of the deal? Sounds like a poll question for you to ponder all weekend long.
Which team will lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense in 2014?
Jordan Richards and linebacker A.J. Tarpley returning.
Oregon: Out is longtime coordinator Nick Aliotti, who retired. In is longtime position coach Don Pellum. The Ducks lose some talent but return standout cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who gives the Ducks' secondary instant credibility.
USC: Clancy Pendergast was not retained by new head coach Steve Sarkisian. So Justin Wilcox is in after working his magic at Washington. The Trojans lost a lot of players to the draft, but a couple key players are back and there is a pretty good crop of young, talented players.
Washington: New head coach Chris Petersen brought his guy, Pete Kwiatkowski, with him from Boise State. The Huskies made tremendous strides in two seasons under Wilcox and have some pretty solid personnel returning.
Other: UCLA's Lou Spanos returned to the NFL and Jeff Ulbrich was promoted from within. Head coach Jim Mora will still oversee a lot of the defense. Though impact players like Anthony Barr and Cassius Marsh are gone, the Bruins have plenty of talent coming back. ... Arizona was sixth in the conference last year and made huge strides from 2012 to 2013. Can it keep the momentum going? ... Arizona State (seventh) also shuffled its defensive staff around with the hiring of Keith Patterson, though Todd Graham will still be heavily involved in the defense. ... Utah (eighth) is just two seasons removed from leading the conference in scoring defense. Can the Utes get back to the top?
Pac-12, Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Washington Huskies, Stanford Cardinal, Arizona State Sun Devils, Steve Sarkisian, Todd Graham, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Don Pellum, Justin Wilcox, Nick Aliotti, Jordan Richards, Clancy Pendergast, Derek Mason, A.J. Tarpley, Chris Petersen, Lou Spanos, Pete Kwiatkowski, 2014 pac-12 blog poll, Jeff Ulbrich, Keith Patterson, Lance Anderson
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