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Originally published Monday, October 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Tryouts today for backup WSU QB

It's been a week since Paul Wulff put out the word that he's holding campus tryouts for a quarterback. The Washington State coach said he's...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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It's been a week since Paul Wulff put out the word that he's holding campus tryouts for a quarterback.

The Washington State coach said he's received as many as 50 inquiries from students seeking to relive their glory days and willing to give it the old college try. Still, NCAA restrictions will likely limit the number of prospects to fewer than 10 when the Cougars audition for a backup signal caller at this afternoon's practice.

"I've gotten some unbelievable e-mails," Wulff said. "There's a lot of guys out there that want to do it. Some kids that have a background and who are very interesting to us. The unfortunate thing is going to be, there's got to be a lot of paperwork done.

"There's maybe 50 kids interested, but if 5 to 8 have the appropriate paperwork, I would be surprised."

The need to cull a quarterback from the nearly 25,000 students became urgent because WSU lost starters Gary Rogers and Kevin Lopina to injury. Redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael, who began the season third on the depth chart, has started the past two games, and freshman J.T. Levenseller and redshirt freshman Dan Wagner are listed as backups.

"What we're hoping to accomplish is get somebody that has a sense of experience," Wulff said. "That can come out and read a card and help our scout-team offense give a good look to our defense on opposing teams we're going to face each week. Our goal is to bring in one maybe two, but probably one."

No-huddle back?

Wulff would like to quicken the offensive tempo and reinstall the no-huddle attack the team had at the start of the season. However, he doesn't want to overload Lobbestael and a makeshift offensive line.

"I don't want to rule out that we'll go back to the no-huddle or we will not," Wulff said. "I don't know. It depends on how things unfold over the next two weeks. Right now, [we'll] stay the course."

Lobbestael, who finished with just 151 yards on 15-of-31 passing in Saturday's 28-3 defeat to UCLA, has started two games. He threw an interception, and the Bruins sacked him three times.

Notes

• The Cougars didn't suffer any significant injuries Saturday; however, WSU played without freshman CB Tyrone Justin (pulled quadriceps), senior CB Markus Dawes (thigh), junior RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), redshirt freshman OL Will Hunter (broken middle finger), freshman OL Steven Ayers (neck/shoulder), sophomore WR Daniel Blackledge (shoulder) and senior LB Corey Evans (hamstring).

• Junior CB Devin Giles, who started every game last season, made his first start this season on Saturday.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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