"The chances are that (Tuel) will play," he said, adding that the game plan won't change much based on the starter because it was devised before Tuel was cleared. "We want to get through today and tomorrow and assess how he is playing."
Tuel started last year at Stanford (5-0 overall, 3-0 Pac-12) when WSU trailed 31-7 entering the fourth quarter. But the Cougars (3-2, 1-1) scored three touchdowns in the final period en route to a 38-28 loss.
Wulff said that outcome has little bearing on this season, though. He said his team is "a little different schematically this year, particularly on offense," while he feels the Cardinal is a better team than the 2010 version that finished with a 12-1 record and won the Orange Bowl.
"Their team is better than a year ago with the experience they have back," Wulff said.
Junior quarterback Andrew Luck, who has completed 106 of 145 passes for 1,383 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions this season, is the consensus top pro prospect in April's draft. Stanford averages 46.2 points per game, which is seventh among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Its average margin of victory this season is five touchdowns.
"There has not been a remotely close game," Wulff said. "We know there's a great challenge on our hands."
Some teams might have problems playing in a close game for the first time, but Wulff said he does not anticipate that from the Cardinal.
"You would say that, but the difference with their team is the experience they have back," he said. "They've been in those situations. They're going to handle it better than most teams."
He said sophomore linebacker Sekope Kaufusi (shoulder) is "feeling better all of the time" and is expected to start against Stanford. Meanwhile, sophomore Matt Goetz would start over senior Andrew Roxas (ankle) if the game were played today, Wulff said.
At defensive end, the Cougars could be forced into using another new starter this week. Junior Adam Coerper (knee) started twice, but has not played since Sept. 17 at San Diego State. Junior-college transfer Lenard Williams (neck), who has started the last two games, was injured during Monday's practice. Wulff said if Williams, whose status might not be determined until game time, is unable to start, sophomore Jordan Pu'u-Robinson likely would take his place with junior Skylar Stormo also seeing plenty of playing time.
"They're good blockers … and they're all very good at catching the ball," Wulff said. "Some of them run as well as wide receivers. They're very challenging down the middle vertically and in the flats on play action."