COUGAR NOTEBOOK: Injury updates

WASHINGTON STATE MAY get back their starting punter for Cal, a trouble spot for WSU last week, with Paul Wulff cautiously optimistic Tuesday on the return to duty of Reid Forrest for Saturday. Also taking a wait and see approach during the practice week, said Wulff, will determine the availability of starting left tackle Vaughn Lesuma. The early week news wasn't as promising on two Coug defenders.

Wulff said Tuesday that corner Alfonso Jackson (hip) is "extremely questionable", while linebacker Jason Stripling (toe) is also in doubt for Cal. Of the two, Stripling might have the better chance to play but neither one looks promising at this stage.

"We're going to have to wait and see on (Jackson and Stripling), we're not sure if they're going to be able to make it," said Wulff.

Lesuma heading into Tuesday's practice looked to be a better bet, though Wulff said he'll be taking a wait and see approach on both him and Forrest as to how they practice and if they're ready to return.

Cal surrendered only 81 yards rushing to Michigan State in their season opener. Though they did allow 321 yards passing, a healthy chunk of them came late in the game when Cal was up by two touchdowns.

"Our offensive consistency is very glaring and we have to execute very well and we're going to have to perform at a much higher level than we did," said Wulff.

Washington State had some mental mistakes against Okie State Wulff says he hopes to clear up this week, including some false starts, drops, offensive line breakdowns, misreads by the quarterback and route running inconsistencies.

"There are parts that executed well and other parts that didn't," said Wulff. "We were hoping we would do better. We clearly didn't think we were going to execute extremely well headed into the game because we've had enough injuries on offense to hamper our progression...and we knew headed in we weren't exactly executing great in practice...but we're capable of more obviously and we just didn't get it done."

On the upside, Wulff had plenty of kind words for the defensive side of the ball.

"I think there's a lot of (reasons for) optimism -- and it starts with our defense," said Wulff. "The defense needs to be able to progress and play well. If they can play with some consistency like they did in the ball game, then they're always going to keep us in ball games.

"Special teams obviously can get a lot better. We went into it with our fourth string quarterback making the (punts) because our starting punter was out with a broken leg...And offensively, I know we can do a lot better. Once we get the mistakes cleaned up, we're going to move the ball and we're going to score points on people."

Cal o-line coach Jim Michalczik and Wulff are very good friends. D-line coach Bob Gregory was at Washington State when Wulff was a player. Among the home opener festivities on tap for the Cal game will be a reunion of the 1988 Aloha Bowl team. Wulff joked that the reunion date was set in order to distract Michalczik. "The plan is to have a little corruption along the way," quipped Wulff. "That's part of the reason why I was pushing to have it for this weekend."

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