Thursday Practice News

Freshman defensive lineman Junior Lemau'u is suspended; Head Coach Karl Dorrell provides us an injury update on Matt Ware, Mat Ball and Rod Leisle, and talks about fielding punts, among other things...

The big news from practice was the announcement from Head Coach Karl Dorrell that freshman defensive end Junior Lemau'u was suspended from the team "indefinitely" for a violation of team rules.

On the injury front, cornerback Matt Ware, defensive tackle Rodney Leisle and defensive end Mat Ball will all make the trip to Pullman. Ware will play, but not start, Leisle is most likely out and Ball is still questionable. Tyler Ebell also practiced and will start on Saturday.

On Junior Lemau'u's suspension: "We didn't announce it yesterday, but this was done yesterday. We have suspended Junior Lemau'u from our team at this time, because he has violated some team issues. He's still in school, he still has obligations that he needs to do from an academic standpoint, so in terms of his football obligations, he's relieved of those duties until further notice. "

On whether Lemau'u could be reinstated at some point this season or for a bowl game: "I would say the likelihood is no. He's a kid that has some growing to do, being in an environment like this and we're trying to help him along in all of our different support areas to get him off to the best start possible. I think in this case we're trying to take away the one element that he is very familiar with so he can catch up and do all the other things he needs to get done. We want to make sure he is getting a chance to do his things under a structured environment. The door is always open to come back. Just not at this particular time. He is suspended from practice too. It's not anything life threatening; we just want to make sure he understands the guidelines of how we do things. We'll see if he can be reinstated to the team. He understands the process, and he's going to have to do all the things necessary. "

On Rodney Leisle: "He is traveling. He did a few things on the field. Still, the likelihood, it's not a great chance that he will help us but we are leaving every possibility to see if there is a chance within the next couple of days to see how much better he can improve."

On Mat Ball: "Very similar circumstances. He did a little more today than what he has done all week, but he'll be more of a game time decision too, to see whether he can help us or not."

On determining when Matt Ware will play: "He'll play some. He won't start. He'll play in our nickel situations and to be a reserve and help in a series to get him back in the flow. I don't anticipate him getting extensive play. He'll come in as a corner (in the nickel). Keith has been our nickel player and he has been our corner. (Ware) is really going to be available to spell."

On Tyler Ebell: "He practiced today and he looked fine so all of his flu symptoms are gone and he is ready to go. He'll start on Saturday."

On the media saying it's a two-team race in the Pac-10 between USC and Washington State: "All I know is our chances are just as good as the other two. I know that there is speculation and predictions, but I can only control what I can, which is getting this team successful and bringing home a victory. "

On reminding the team they are still in a position to win the Pac-10 : "We continue to do that because we are. We are 4-1 and have just as good an opportunity as the other two teams. We're at where a lot of people want to be. We are going to try and do our best to put us one step closer to our goal."

On Craig Bragg and his fielding of punts: "I'm usually back there talking to him a lot (in practice). He fielded the one (against Stanford) too deep, where it was on the six-yard line. Those are decisions that are tough. And you tell him not to go back there further, and you misjudge it and you have to go back just a little bit, and you've fielded it there. Those things are going to happen, so we have to work on those. The issue that we are trying to correct from last week is the muffed punt, and being able to communicate with the guys trying to protect him, being short and bouncing and hitting guys. Those are issues we try to correct and address this week. Other than that, he's been fine."

On Mil'von James and Joe Cowan being the gunners: "They will get some gunner time, along with rotating probably four or five guys in that gunner position."


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