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Cougar blog: Jeff Tuel misses practice for WSU

by Tim Lewis

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 11 at 11:12 AM

The Washington State football team might be without freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel on Saturday against UCLA. Tuel sat out practice on Tuesday as the Cougars prepared to face the Bruins this weekend.

Tuel wore a brace on his right knee. He was injured in the second quarter of last weekend's game against Arizona. The injury knocked him out of the game for good. Tuel did warm up his arm before practice on Tuesday, but he did not participate in any drills.

That leaves Marshall Lobbestael, who took over for Tuel last weekend, and Kevin Lopina (I bet you never thought you'd hear that name again) taking snaps with the first team offense. Lobbestael will be the starter if Tuel can not go against UCLA.

Head coach Paul Wulff wasn't close to ruling Tuel out for the game (he called him a game-time decision). He said that he wants to see how Tuel responds to treatment the next couple of days. I'm hoping this is all a ploy to keep the Bruins off balance, and Tuel will play on Saturday (but we'll see what happens).

The Cougars play at home for the first time in more than a month on Saturday. It's Dad's Weekend...that should translate into a larger crowd than usual. Wulff says that's exactly what his team needs; some support after being jeered on the road five out of the last six weeks.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm this weekend. The game will be shown live regionally on Fox College Sports. It will be replayed on FSN Northwest at 7pm.

Believe it or not, the Cougs actually have a chance of winning this game (if Tuel is healthy enough to play). I'll get more into this in my preview on Friday, but the Bruins are just 4-5 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-10. The oddsmakers are calling UCLA a 17.5 point favorite, which would technically make it an upset if WSU wins. I'm calling an "upset watch" right now.

I've posted uncut interviews with Paul Wulff, Jeffrey Solomon, and Jason Stripling from practice on Tuesday. All you have to do is click on their names to hear their interviews.

That's all I have for now.

Go Cougs!!!