PRACTICE REPORT: Tuel absent, D fired up

PULLMAN -- Anyone hoping for more clarity on the status of quarterback Jeff Tuel will have to wait at least another day. The junior signal-caller was absent from Monday night's practice, and coach Paul Wulff said he will have a better idea about Tuel's status for Saturday's game at Oregon (TV: Root Sports) on Tuesday. Wulff said senior Marshall Lobbestael is the starter for now.

Tuel suffered a fractured left clavicle in the season opener against Idaho State and aggravated the injury during the first half of Saturday's 44-21 loss against Oregon State in Seattle. In addition to that, Wulff said Tuel also is battling a calf injury. He said he should have more clarity on Tuel's status when he undergoes further examination Tuesday morning.

"There's two things," Wulff said. "His shoulder is an issue and he's got a muscle issue in his calf that we're trying to evaluate, as well."

With Tuel out, Lobbestael stepped in with the 1s. On Mondays, practice is limited to mostly position drills and work against the scout team, but Lobbestael did look more comfortable in his 7-on-7 drills. Granted, there are no linebackers in the drill and Lobbestael isn't receiving any pressure. But he was connecting on several plays with his wide receivers and had solid chemistry with WR Jared Karstetter.

While Lobbestael is slated to start, Wulff said the offense will adjust during the week if Tuel is cleared to play.

THE WEATHER WAS cold in Pullman, but the players efforts Monday night showed they are still a little steamed from the embarrassing loss against the Beavers. The defense was moving at a much faster pace as they begin their preparations for No. 7 Oregon. The Ducks have countless playmakers on offense and Wulff said it will be important for his group to be prepared for the type of talent they will face at Autzen Stadium.

"It's important that our defense gets the looks we need to get," Wulff said. "We do play in practice at a pretty good tempo so it shouldn't be a big shock to our players."

Starting safety Tyree Toomer said the defense knows it will have to be nearly flawless to contain Oregon's high-powered offense. He said Monday's practice was a good start.

"We had a lot of energy tonight," Toomer said. "We put that loss behind us and now it's on to the next opponent in Oregon, which we're looking forward to playing. During practices we have to make sure we're executing our game plan so that during the game it's like clockwork."

  • True Freshman WR Dominique Williams saw plenty of action running with the 1s on Monday night and hauled in several passes from Lobbestael. Williams has been seeing more action with the 1s and 2s in the past week, but Wulff said the true frosh won't be seeing the field this season.

    "He's going to redshirt," Wulff said. "We feel he's capable of playing, but we've had some other receivers that are playing that can't redshirt. When you talk about Oregon and building depth, that's how you build a program for the long term. You bring players in, redshirt them and when there's injuries that go down you have players in the wings who are ready to step in and make plays.

    "We're trying to build a program that has long-term stability and has the depth. The only way you can get there is by redshirting kids and being patient with them."

  • From an injury standpoint, the Cougars appear to be mostly on the healthy side. The only regularly contributing players missing were WRs Kristoff Williams (stinger) and Henry Eaddy(concussion), and LB Mike Ledgerwood (stinger).

    QB: Marshall Lobbestael
    X receiver: Marquess Wilson
    Flanker: Isiah Barton (Note: Bobby Ratliff, Dominique Williams also seeing reps with the 1s)
    Z receiver: Jared Karstetter
    TE Andrei Lintz
    LT: David Gonzales
    LG: John Fullington
    C: Matt Goetz (Andrew Roxas also seeing reps with 1s)
    RG: B.J. Guerra
    RT: Dan Spitz
    RB: Rickey Galvin (Carl Winston and Logwone Mitz also seeing reps with 1s)
    LE: Lenard Williams
    LT: Toni Pole (Brandon Rankin also seeing reps with 1s)
    RT: Anthony Laurenzi
    RE: Travis Long
    SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
    MIKE: C.J. Mizell
    WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
    CB: Nolan Washington
    SS: Deone Bucannon
    FS: Tyree Toomer (Casey Locker also seeing reps with 1s)
    CB: Daniel Simmons (Damante Horton also seeing reps with 1s)

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