Practice Report: Lobbestael on target

PULLMAN -- With QB Jeff Tuel a game time decision for UCLA, Marshall Lobbestael ran the Cougs' first team offense for the majority of a practice for the first time in over a month -- and had a good day doing it.

As earlier reported on CF.C, freshman quarterback Tuel (knee cap) is listed as a game time decision and if he is unable to go, Lobbestael will be the starter with Kevin Lopina the back-up.

As expected, Tuel was not wearing pads and had a sweatshirt underneath his jersey. He also had a wrap around his knee. Tuel was throwing the ball sparingly on the sidelines with teammates, the plan going forward said Wulff is to see how he feels as the week progresses.

During 11-on-11 drills, Lobbestael, a red-shirt sophomore, completed 3-of-4 passes. The lone miscue was also on target but tight coverage from CB Brandon Jones precluded the receiver from hauling it in.

"I feel like I'm moving a little better," Lobbestael said. "I just have to make sure to stay warm and stay loose so it (knee) doesn't stiffen up but other than that I feel pretty good."

After practice, Lobbestael continued working on the chemistry with his receivers by spending about 10 minutes combined throwing routes to various receivers.

"The coaches do a really good job of giving us the looks we're going to get and giving us reps in practice but it definitely helps," Lobbestael said.

Lopina, who began the season as the starting quarterback, ran the second team offense on Tuesday and saw a limited amount of reps with the first team.

WITH LEFT TACKLE Tyson Pencer sitting out the practice after injuring his ankle against Arizona, Steven Ayers ran with the first team and Alex Reitnouer also got in some snaps.

Ayers, who Paul Wulff said would start Saturday at LT with Reitnouer the backup, looked comfortable in both run blocking and pass protection. Ayers started at both left tackle and left guard before suffering a sprained ankle back on Sept. 26 at USC.

For the majority of Tuesday's practice, the offensive line had the defensive line's number, with Dwight Tardy having some nice gainers and giving Lobbestael time to find an open receiver.

TE/SB Tony Thompson did not participate in practice and was in street clothes after sustaining a concussion earlier last week. Thompson is officially listed as questionable for Saturday. Andrei Lintz joined Skylar Stormo in taking first team reps at tight end on Tuesday.

On defense, safety Jay Matthews fully participated in practice and showed no signs of injury after dinging a shoulder against Arizona last Saturday. Matthews ran alongside safety Xavier Hicks with the first team and could start again on Saturday if Chima Nwachukwu is unable to go.

Nwachukwu did not practice this afternoon and was in street clothes as he looked on from the sidelines, but Wulff was optimistic he could be ready to go on Saturday.

  • Zach Tatman had the catch of the day. Matthews and Hicks both tried to put a body on the big TE, but Matthews got the worst of the collision while Tatman was able to remain on his feet.

  • Punter Reid Forrest continues to impress, launching several gorgeous punts on Tuesday that sent the return man into a consistent backpedal.

  • CB Aire Justin saw a good amount of reps running with the first team, consistently switching in and out with corners Terrance Hayward and Brandon Jones.

    K Nico Grasu (quadriceps pull) was not in pads and did not practice. Patrick Rooney took over for Grasu last week against Arizona following his injury.

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