Wulff closes practice, seeks leaders

SEEKING SOLACE AND player peer pressure, Paul Wulff is moving practices inside the bubble and locking the door. Following another jumbo-sized loss on Saturday, Wulff said Sunday that it's time for the players to hold each other accountable. "It's time now as a coach to find players that'll do that. That's where we're really at," he said.

Wulff will have the Cougs practice indoors Tuesday and Wednesday during this bye week. Both practices will be closed to media and others.

"We need some time to ourselves," said Wulff.

Quarterback Kevin Lopina and defensive end Andy Mattingly were both outspoken after Saturday's 69-0 loss to USC. Click here and here to listen to their comments. Wulff said Sunday he had not heard their comments but understands the frustration.

"All great teams have great, strong leadership that handle (internal player situations)," said Wulff. "Successful teams do, and unsuccessful teams don't have that, or have enough of it. We need more of that.

"Our kids can see that...those comments probably tell you...it's tough on those kids. They're trying hard and we've had some very unfortunate things happen to us injury wise. And when you lose games, it's easy to get frustrated.

"Everyone (else) is trying to find answers or find reasons why you're losing games and those types of things..there's no need to try pointing any fingers and I don't think those guys were by any means. Everybody gets frustrated. They can see maybe somebody not pulling their weight or those types of things. So I understand where some of that comes from."

Wulff said examples of player leadership will be one of the things he'll be looking for in Tuesday and Wednesday's practices, and beyond.

"And Sunday. And Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then the following Saturday and the following Sunday and the following Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and then the following...," said Wulff.

Members of the staff will hit the road Wednesday night and Thursday morning on the recruiting trail. Thursday will be a little different than the normal Thursday in that there will probably be a little more conditioning and weightlifting.

The plan is for the Cougars not to practice on the field Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Then Sunday, one week from today, the Cougs will practice in pads.

For this Tuesday and Wednesday, Wulff said the goal is to build it back up.

"We need to develop some kind of identity as a team and find a few things we can hang our hat on, and find a way to become more resilient as a football team," said Wulff.

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