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WSU preps for powerful Stanford

COUGARS

Washington State is off the field after its first full-pad practice of the week. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we do have a couple things to pass along. Read on.

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• We'll get the practice items out of the way quickly, with no Isiah Barton (ankle), though Paul Wulff said earlier in the day the receiver is expected to be able to run tomorrow, or Wade Jacobson (back). Linebacker Sekope Kaufusi was in yellow to protect his banged up shoulder, but did everything but hit. Jeff Tuel spent more time working with the first string during team work, but most of the snaps were still handled by Marshall Lobbestael. As Wulff has said, Tuel's status will be evaluated tomorrow after an x-ray. But he reiterated in his Tuesday press conference, which we summarize below, Lobbestael will start this week against Stanford. Other than that, not much to pass on from practice, though the Cougars did run their perfect 10 drill today and went through it in 10 snaps. Or perfectly. ... Now on to Wulff's press conferences. We'll start with his local call, which opened up with his answers to my questions about Andrew Luck, the Stanford offense and the effectiveness of the Cardinal defense. I then asked him about the first college upset he played a part in, the 1988 win over No. 1 UCLA. It still sticks with Wulff. Why would I ask about that game? It will all be explained Saturday morning. ... Wulff was asked about the two losses and the fact the fourth quarter wasn't good in either. It concerns him a bit, especially considering the big plays both San Diego State and UCLA put together in those fourth quarters. It's something the Cougars have to get better at. ... Asked about Stanford's amazing second-half scoring edge (127-20) and if that meant he really wanted his team to get off to a fast start, Wulff kind of chuckled and said he always wants his teams to get off to a fast start. The bottom line is the WSU defense is going to have to make some plays, whether it's early or late. ... He doesn't see much in the way of changes with the Cardinal this year under new coach David Shaw. ... The red zone problems against UCLA don't concern Wulff, yet. As the Cougars have done a good job finishing drives with TDs up until that game, he believes all they have to do is execute a bit better and the touchdowns will come. ... Wulff added he felt the Cougars dominated UCLA and just didn't win. Thought the kids played well and just a play or two decided the game. ... Finally, talking about Marshall Lobbestael, he said that the backup quarterback has given them a chance to be 5-0. That's all they could have asked out of him. ... You can watch the video below, courtesy of WSU's athletic department. ... Wulff also talked on the Pac-12 call. ... He spoke of Stanford's physical nature and the Cardinal's experience. ... Asked why he's played 10 true freshmen this season, Wulff said the team is still young, there have been some injuries that have given youngsters a chance and that he doesn't believe that many will play again in the future. ... As for the keys against Stanford, he said it's about not turning the ball over and limiting the number of three-and-outs the offense had. He doesn't want the defense on the field for long stretches. ... There was another question about Luck and he gave the same answer he gave in the local presser. As for Tuel, he mentioned the importance of Tuel feeling comfortable getting back on the field and that process wasn't done yet.

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• Here's Wulff's local press conference ...

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• That's all we have for tonight. As usual, we'll be back in the morning. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi





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