Keeping Score

5 to Watch: Washington's top players on defense

By PATRICK MAGEE

pmagee@sunherald.com

Twitter: @Patrick_Magee

Travis Feeney had three sacks in the 17-12 win at USC this season. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)
Travis Feeney had three sacks in the 17-12 win at USC this season. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

Southern Miss will face the most talented defense it has seen all season on Dec. 26 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Washington (6-6) led the Pac-12 in scoring defense (17.8) and total defense with 349.9 yards allowed per game.

There’s plenty of talent across the board on defense for Washington and here are five of the best Huskies on that side of the ball:

1. Safety Budda Baker: Considered a top NFL prospect as a sophomore, Baker was named first-team All-Pac-12 this season for the Huskies. 5-10,178-pound sophomore safety. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Baker registered 42 tackles and two interceptions this season while starting at safety.

2. Cornerback Sidney Jones: Another talented sophomore in the secondary, Jones was also named first-team All-Pac-12. He has good size at 6-foot, 178-pounds. Jones has 40 tackles and a team-high four interceptions.

3. Linebacker Travis Feeney: The 6-foot-4, 226-pound senior linebacker has been hard handle as a pass rusher this season. He has 15.5 tackles for lost yardage and seven sacks. He had a huge game in the 17-12 win at USC with three sacks. Feeney has filled the spot left vacant by current New Orleans Saints linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha.

4. Defensive tackle Taniela Tupou: A second team all-conference selection, Tupou should be a handful in the middle of the line for the Golden Eagles. The senior stands 6-foot-2, 288 pounds. He has 35 tackles, including 4.5 for lost yardage this season.

5. Linebacker Azeem Victor: At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, the sophomore may be the biggest linebacker USM has seen this season. He leads the team in tackles with 88.

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