Tuel named starter for Oregon

THE LAST TRUE freshman to start at quarterback for Washington State turned out to be pretty good. The Cougars can only dream of being so fortunate a second time.

Coach Paul Wulff announced Monday that Jeff Tuel, four months removed from Clovis West High School in Fresno, Calif., will start Saturday at 16th-ranked Oregon.

Tuel was impressive in relief of Marshall Lobbestael on Saturday at then-No. 12 USC.

"Jeff did some good things, obviously, running the ball," Wulff said. "He threw the ball pretty well. He didn't force the ball. He did have the one interception."

Drew Bledsoe, later an All-Pro, started as a true freshman quarterback at WSU in 1990, also against USC. As chronicled earlier on CF.C, the only true freshman to play quarterback for the Cougars between Bledsoe and Tuel was J.T. Levenseller, who saw limited action off the bench in four games last year. Levenseller has since transferred to Eastern Washington.

Earlier Monday, Oregon coach Chip Kelly was already describing Tuel as "their quarterback" after viewing tape of Tuel at USC.

"Their quarterback, I thought, played very, very well," Kelly said. "He came in and he did a nice job throwing the ball and he did a nice job scrambling."

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