Cougars' Leach says running backs are important

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Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 5:33 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington State coach Mike Leach disputes the notion that running backs are underutilized in his Air Raid offense.

Washington State may run the ball less than half as much as the Cougars' opponents but the running backs catch a lot of passes.

Leach says running backs are often the best athletes on the team, and they have to get the football.

This season, the Cougars' ground game — led by Marcus Mason, Teondray Caldwell and Jeremiah Laufasa — accounted for 704 yards on 224 carries. Opponents ran it 500 times for 2,210 yards.

But those three players combined to catch 83 passes.

Washington State (6-6) will play Colorado State (7-6) this Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.

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