WSU coaches gaining national recognition too after 8-4 campaign, Jim Mastro a finalist for FootballScoop RB coach of the year

THE COUGAR PLAYERS aren’t the only ones making lists and gaining national recognition following the 2016 regular season. Washington State running backs reached new heights in Mike Leach’s fifth year on the Palouse, and opposing coaches noticed. Wazzu assistant Jim Mastro has been named one of four finalists for FootballScoop running backs coach of the year.

According to FootballScoop, its awards “are the only coaching awards chosen entirely by their peers. Coaches must be nominated by a fellow coach to be eligible for an award and winners are chosen by the prior winners of each award.”

Mastro is joined by fellow finalists Lance Taylor, Stanford; Justin Hill, Tulsa and Jeff Horton, San Diego State.

With the Holiday Bowl still to come, the Cougar running backs under Mastro have already blown by last year’s accomplishments. Credit also surely needs to be given to the WSU front five and o-line coach Clay McGuire. That said, the combined 2016 totals of James WilliamsJamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks leap off the page.

2016 carries: 266 (12 games)
2015 carries: 197 (13 games)

2016 rushing TDs: 22
2015 rushing TDs: 5

2016 rushing yards: 1,584
2015 rushing yards: 1,105

2016 rushing yards per game: 132.0
2015 rushing yards per game: 94.1

2016 receptions/receiving yards: 119/961
2015 receptions/receiving yards: 114/734

FootballScoop will reveal its winners throughout the month, with coaches receiving their awards at the AFCA Convention in January.

For the full list of offensive finalists CLICK HERE

* WSU left guard Cody O’Connell in a few hours could become WSU’s second recipient of the Outland Trophy (Rien Long, 2002).  The awards show begins at 4 pm Pacific on ESPN. O’Connell, a fourth-year junior, was this week named Sporting News first-team All-America -- the first, first-team All-American WSU offensive lineman since Derrick Roche in 2002.

* Pictured above after win over Oregon, back row: Madigan Taulelei, James Williams, Jim Mastro, Alijah Lee.
Front row: Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks

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