COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:15 P.M.
Remember way back to this morning when I blogged this about whether Jeff Tuel or Marshall Lobbestael would start against Stanford ... "This morning I would say don't bet on either guy right now. I'm not sure which guy will take the first snap against Stanford." Well, that was basically what Paul Wulff said today in his press conference. Read on.
• Asked if Lobbestael will definitely start Saturday, Wulff answered emphatically "no." He went on to say it was a high probability that Lobbestael would take the first snaps, but there was a chance Tuel would as well. Those decisions would not be made until either Friday night or Saturday morning. "We're still going through everything," Wulff said. "There's a high probability that he could, obviously. Again, we're just going to go through it and see how it falls." Earlier Wulff had said of Tuel "the chances are he'll play but when and how much, we want to get through today and tomorrow and assess exactly how he's playing and Marshall, giving ourselves all that time to come up with the best decision we can make." Wulff said the game plan won't change much this week no matter who plays, mainly because Jeff wasn't cleared until Wednesday morning, and the game plan is already in place. ... There were other things Wulff talked about including a couple questions I had about the Stanford tight ends and defense for some Saturday items. Wulff did say he doesn’t think there will be much if any carryover from the last part of last year's game, as the Cougar offense is a bit different. ... Though Stanford hasn't been in a tight game yet this season, Wulff doesn't think the Cardinal will have trouble with it, mainly because of their experience (they start seven upperclassmen on defense and eight on offense). ... As for the other injured Cougars, Wulff said right tackle Wade Jacobson won't play this week and there is a chance, if surgery is needed on his lower back, his year could be done. He also doesn't think punt returner Leon Brooks (shoulder) will be able to go this week and that defensive end Lenard Williams (neck) will be a game-time decision. He does believe Sekope Kaufusi (shoulder) will go and that Andrew Roxas (ankle) will be able to play, but Matt Goetz will start at center. ... If Williams can't go, look for Jordan Pu'u Robinson to start. ... And that's about all from his presser.
• UPDATED: Watched the offense practice Thursday and once again I'll say Tuel has improved. He was quite a bit better today than he was on Tuesday or Wednesday. Is he where he was going into the Idaho State game? No, not that sharp. But he's much better than he was when the week started. As Wulff said, he'll make a decision on Tuel's use after tomorrow's walk-through, but baring any setback I'm sure Tuel will play Saturday. ... As we mentioned above, Wade Jacobson won't play Saturday (Dan Spitz will make his second consecutive start at right tackle) and Lenard Williams is still on the bubble. Nothing happened Thursday that would change those assessments.
• That's what we have now. We will update this post after practice. By the way, thanks for all the advice with my Flash problems. In Firefox (my browser of choice) there is a pull-down for the Add-ons. I tried disabling Flash for a while, and everything ran so much faster. So that's what I'll do in the mornings. Bet I post a lot earlier tomorrow. ... Until later ...