Lobster to carry Cougar flag vs. UW

MARSHALL LOBBESTAEL, barring an unexpected and dramatic return to full health by Jeff Tuel in the next few days, will start under center for Washington State when the Cougs meet the Huskies in the Apple Cup at CenturyLink Field in Seattle this Saturday.

Connor Halliday, who was not sacked in the Cougs 30-27 overtime loss to Utah, suffered a lacerated liver and will need to abstain from physical activity for several weeks. He is expected to make a full recovery. As is Jeff Tuel, who aggravated a clavicle injury and suffered a significant calf injury a month ago against OSU. And so it seemingly falls to the guy who started the season for the Cougars -- Marshall Lobbestael -- to try to close out the WSU season, and his collegiate career with a win in the Apple Cup.

Lobbestael has completed 179-299 passes with 16 TDs against seven interceptions this season. He has thrown for 2,240 yards this season.

Although throwing for video game like numbers his first two weeks against Idaho State and UNLV, his best game was perhaps Colorado, when he engineered a comeback from 10 points down with less than five minutes to play, rifling a strike to Isiah Barton and then hitting Marquess Wilson on a deep ball to put the Cougs in front for good.

Against OSU this week, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian had said his main concern was allowing the OSU quarterback to get in a rhythm and that sending plenty of pressure would be a UW theme. The UW defense however didn't get there much of the time, logging only one sack and allowing OSU to throw for 339 yards passing in a 38-21 Husky loss.

WSU will need a similar protection performance down two quarterbacks. Backing up Lobbestael is expected to be former walk-on David Gilbertson. Scholarship freshman Cody Clements is redshirting this season and is not expected to be available. Beyond Gilbertson, the Cougs have another walk-on, Jesse Brown and punter Dan Wagner, who could also play QB in an emergency, as he did in both 2008 and 2009.

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