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Mike Leach co-coach of year; Falk leads trio on All-Pac-12 first team

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 1, 2015

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who sat out the Apple Cup due to a concussion, was named to the All-Pac-12 football team on Tuesday. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who sat out the Apple Cup due to a concussion, was named to the All-Pac-12 football team on Tuesday. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
PULLMAN —Washington State’s offensive success during the 2015 season was hardly a surprise to the Pac-12 coaches who went against the Cougars. The coaches named three WSU players First Team All-Conference on offense, more than any conference opponent other than No. 7 Stanford, who had four.

Furthermore, WSU coach Mike Leach was named co-Coach of the Year, along with Stanford’s David Shaw. Leach guided WSU (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) to its best regular-season record since 2003.

The Cougars were predicted to finish fifth in the six-team Pac-12 North in the preseason media poll, but finished third with road victories over Oregon and No. 22 UCLA. WSU also missed a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds against No. 8 Stanford.

The Cougars entered the season having last appeared in the AP Top-25 poll in 2006, and climbed as high as No. 20 heading into last week’s Apple Cup.

Quarterback Luke Falk shared the first team honor with California passer Jared Goff, and was joined by teammates Gabe Marks at wide receiver and Joe Dahl – a graduate of Spokane’s University High – on the offensive line.

WSU did not have a single player named First Team All-Pac-12 on either offense or defense in 2014.

The WSU defensive line was also well represented on the All-Conference teams, with both Darryl Paulo and Destiny Vaeao earning Second Team selections.

Falk, a redshirt sophomore, led the Pac-12 with 4,266 passing yards despite playing in just 11 games, missing last week’s Apple Cup because of a concussion. His 36 touchdown passes were second only to Goff’s 37 He threw just eight interceptions while completing 70.7 percent of his passes, the most accurate clip in the conference.

The passer also led the Cougars to four fourth-quarter comebacks, three of which involved his passing for touchdowns with 13 or fewer seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Marks led the Pac-12 with 8.4 receptions per game, and 14 touchdowns overall. Only USC’s Juju Smith-Schuster finished with a higher average than Marks’ 93.8 receiving yards per game.

Dahl was one of the most successful quarterback protectors in college football this season, giving up just three sacks and two quarterback hits in 692 snaps. He initially walked-on at WSU after transferring from Montana, but earned a scholarship and a starting spot.

Joining Dahl on the first team offensive line were Stanford guard Josh Garnett from Puyallup, and USC tackle Zach Banner from Lakewood.

Wide receiver Dom Williams, safety Shalom Luani, defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa, linebacker Peyton Pelluer and offensive linemen Riley Sorenson and Cole Madison were all named honorable mention All-Pac-12.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors will be announced Tuesday night on the Pac-12 Networks at 6 p.m. This story will be updated

2015 All-Pac-12 football team as voted by the league’s coaches:

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

QB Luke Falk, So., Washington State

QB Jared Goff, Jr., California

RB Royce Freeman, So., Oregon

RB Christian McCaffrey, So., Stanford

WR Kenny Lawler, Jr., California

WR Gabe Marks, Jr., Washington State

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, So., USC

TE Austin Hooper, Jr., Stanford

OL Zach Banner, Jr., USC

OL Joe Dahl, Sr., Washington State

OL Joshua Garnett, Sr., Stanford

OL Tyler Johnstone, Sr, Oregon

OL Kyle Murphy, Sr., Stanford

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

DL DeForest Buckner, Sr., Oregon

DL Kenny Clark, Jr., UCLA

DL Lowell Lotulelei, So., Utah

DL Aziz Shittu, Sr., Stanford

DL Antwaun Woods, Sr., USC

LB Su’a Cravens, Jr., USC (2)

LB Blake Martinez, Sr., Stanford

LB Gionni Paul, Sr., Utah

DB Budda Baker, So., Washington

DB Adoree’ Jackson, So., USC

DB Sidney Jones, So., Washington

DB Marcus Williams, So., Utah

FIRST TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Aidan Schneider, So., Oregon

P Tom Hackett, Sr., Utah (3)

RS Christian McCaffrey, So., Stanford

AP/ST Charles Nelson, So., Oregon

AP/ST = All-Purpose/Special Teams Player (not a kicker or returner); RS = Return Specialist(2) Two-time first team selection (3) Three-time first team selection

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE

QB Kevin Hogan, Sr., Stanford

RB Devontae Booker, Sr., Utah

RB Paul Perkins, Jr., UCLA

WR Bralon Addison, Jr., Oregon

WR Darren Carrington, So., Oregon

WR Nelson Spruce, Sr., Colorado

TE Thomas Duarte, Jr., UCLA

OL Jake Brendel, Sr., UCLA

OL J.J. Dielman, Jr., Utah

OL Conor McDermott, Jr., UCLA

OL Christian Westerman, Sr., Arizona State

OL Chad Wheeler, Jr., USC

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE

DL Darryl Paulo, Sr., Washington State

DL Delvon Simmons, Sr., USC

DL Taniela Tupou, Sr., Washington

DL Destiny Vaeao, Sr., Washington State

LB Travis Feeney, Sr., Washington

LB Deon Hollins, Jr., UCLA

LB Jared Norris, Sr., Utah

DB Chidobe Awuzie, Jr., Colorado

DB Randall Goforth, Jr., UCLA

DB Ronnie Harris, Sr., Stanford

DB Jaleel Wadood, So., UCLA

SECOND TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Ka’imi Fairbairn, Sr., UCLA

P Drew Riggleman, Sr., Arizona

RS Adoree’ Jackson, So., USC

AP/ST Soma Vainuku, Sr., USC

Honorable mention:

ARIZONA: DL Reggie Gilbert, Sr.; DB Will Parks, Sr.; PK Casey Skowron, Sr.

ARIZONA STATE: DB Lloyd Carrington, Sr.; LB Salamo Fiso, Jr.; LB Antonio Longino, Sr.; DB Jordan Simone, Sr.; DL Tashon Smallwood, So.; OL Vi Teofilo, Sr.

CALIFORNIA: TE Stephen Anderson, Sr.; OL Chris Borrayo, Jr.; DL Kyle Kragen, Sr.; DB Stefan McClure, Sr.; LB Hardy Nickerson, Jr.; WR Bryce Treggs, Sr.

COLORADO: TE Sean Irwin, Jr.; SS Tedric Thompson, Jr.

OREGON: QB Vernon Adams Jr., Sr.; DL Alex Balducci, Sr.; OL Matt Hegarty, Sr.; DB Tyree Robinson, So.

OREGON STATE: RS Victor Bolden, Jr.; OL Josh Mitchell, Sr.; DL Kyle Peko, Sr.; P Nick Porebski, So.; OL Isaac Seumalo, Jr.

STANFORD: LB Kevin Anderson, Sr.; OL Johnny Caspers, Sr.; FB Daniel Marx, So.; DL Brennan Scarlett, Sr.; OL Graham Shuler, Sr.; DL Solomon Thomas, So.; PK Conrad Ukropina, Sr.

UCLA: WR Jordan Payton, Sr.; DB Marcus Rios, Jr.; LB Aaron Wallace, Sr.

USC: RB Justin Davis, Jr.; RB Ronald Jones, Fr.; QB Cody Kessler, Sr.; OL Damien Mama, So.; LB Cameron Smith, Fr.

UTAH: OL Isaac Asiata, Jr.; RS Britain Covey, Fr.; DL Jason Fanaika, Sr.; PK Andy Phillips, Jr.

WASHINGTON: DL Greg Gaines, Fr.; RB Myles Gaskin, Fr.; DB Kevin King, Jr.; LB Cory Littleton, Sr.; TE Joshua Perkins, Sr.; LB Azeem Victor, So.

WASHINGTON STATE: DB Shalom Luani, Jr.; OL Cole Madison, So.; DL Hercules Mata’afa, Fr.; LB Peyton Pelluer, So.; OL Riley Sorenson, Jr.; WR Dom Williams, Sr.

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