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2012 Sun Bowl: USC starts nine All Pac-12 defenders

Coach compares USC's defense to Florida State's and Georgia's. Those defenses held Tech to a combined 25 points in its last two games.

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

The USC defense that Georgia Tech will face in the Sun Bowl will be loaded with talent. That defense did not meet statistical expectations, however, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Trojans finished 45th in scoring defense and 63rd in total defense in 2012. Those numbers aren't terrible, but one must remember that the team as a whole was ranked No. 1 in the preseason. Still, the Georgia Tech offense faces a stiff challenge.

Trojan outside linebacker Hayes Pullard and safety T.J. McDonald have received significant attention from offensive coach Brian Bohannon. The two have "stood out as awfully talented players," Bohannon said.

McDonald has also caught the eye of Yellow Jacket quarterback Vad Lee.

He's "big and he plays all over the field," Lee said. "That’s somebody we’ll definitely have to look for."

Despite their middling statistics, nine USC defenders received All Pac-12 honors. Factor in that Georgia Tech only scored 25 points combined in its last two games, and the Jackets will likely have to do better to pull off a victory in the Sun Bowl.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.