Jeff Tuel cleared, but Cougars will start Lobbestael
Quarterback Jeff Tuel will return to practice full-time Tuesday, but he won't be returning to the starting lineup this week, Washington State coach Paul Wulff said after the Cougars went through their usual pad-less Monday night workout.
WSU @ UCLA, 7:30 p.m., ROOT Sports
PULLMAN — Quarterback Jeff Tuel will return to practice full-time Tuesday, but he won't be returning to the starting lineup this week, Washington State coach Paul Wulff said after the Cougars went through their usual pad-less Monday night workout.
Asked if Marshall Lobbestael would start against UCLA on Saturday, Wulff said yes, and indicated he was still unsure whether Tuel, who started every game last season, would even play this week.
"We're just going to give him some quality reps and let him work himself back into shape," Wulff said of Tuel, who fractured his left clavicle Sept. 3 in the opener against Idaho State and hasn't played since.
Lobbestael, who has held down Tuel's spot in the lineup, is among those excited about the junior's possible return.
"I can't wait for Jeff to get back," said Lobbestael, a fifth-year senior who is second in the Pac-12 in total offense (321.5 yards per game) and passing (333.8) and is third in passing efficiency (168.3 rating). "I am pumped for him that he's recovering so good and I can't wait until he gets healthy."
Lobbestael said he knows Tuel is the starting quarterback and expects him to regain that spot when he's healthy enough.
"Wait until you see this offense with Jeff," Lobbestael said. "I'm not ragging on what I've done or (showing) a lack of confidence in me, but I'm excited to see what he can do this year. Everyone else should be too, that's all I'm saying.
"I'm just going to keep preparing like I have been and my goal is just to be ready to play, whether that's the first snap or second or third string."
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel maintained confidence in his Bruins (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12). UCLA was routed by No. 7 Stanford last week, but could still get to its bye week at .500 with a win over the improved Cougars (3-1, 1-0).
"We want for nothing," Neuheisel said. "We don't need anything else from outside. We just need everybody to get a little bit incrementally better each week, and we're going to turn the corner and become the team everybody wants us to be."
• Cougars senior linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis has been named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after getting 14 tackles against Colorado.
• Washington State's homecoming game against Stanford on Oct. 15 at Martin Stadium will be televised live nationally by Versus at 4:30 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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