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Late night from WSU

COUGARS

It turns out Jeff Tuel was more banged up than previously revealed. His left clavicle is not fractured again – it's real sore though – but his right calf is pretty beat up. Read on.


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• We have a story for tomorrow's S-R dealing with Tuel's injuries. They will keep him out of this week's game with Oregon for sure and could cost him the rest of the season. After suffering a calf bruise against Oregon State, Tuel took the bus ride home with the rest of the team, spent Sunday in the training room getting treatment on his calf and clavicle – a CAT scan was taken and the bone isn't fractured again, just aggravated – and went home. That night the calf started to really hurt – sound familiar? – and Tuel let the training staff know. He immediately checked himself in at Pullman Regional Hospital and doctors found the beginning of acute compartment syndrome, the same aliment that caused so much pain for running back James Montgomery a couple years ago. Tuel's was caught so early there was no need for any surgery, the calf, while still painful, should heal fine and he should be healthy soon. But in time for the rest of this football season? He could be back but maybe not. You could say he's out indefinitely if you want. Today, he stood on the sidelines signaling in plays, called the signals to start the running drills and talked with Marshall Lobbestael whenever he could. He didn't talk with the media afterward. … Lobbestael did and says he knows he'll be ready for Saturday. He's played at Auzten Stadium before, knows it’s the loudest venue in the Pac-12 and just wants to execute and lead the offense. He also knows “you're not going to win 10-7,” so the offense has to score some points. But of course, he added, the offense always wants to score a bunch of points. Asked what worries him the most about the Oregon defense, he mentioned the Ducks speed. … We have another story for tomorrow. The WSU regents held a meeting today concerning the Martin Stadium remodeling project, or projects. The premium seating/press box building on the south side is up for approval at the regents' November meeting. The football operations building behind the west end zone will be brought before them for approval in 2012, assuming, of course, the south-side project is approved. … Coach Paul Wulff talked on the Pac-12 call this morning and in a local news conference this afternoon. We listened in on both. On the Pac-12 call, Wulff said the defense didn't respond well to Oregon State's play action and that there were three excellent opportunities for interceptions, only one of which actually resulted in a turnover, and that really hurt. He felt the Cougars moved the ball well on the ground early, but got behind and had to pass more than they would have liked. … The recent slippage on offense can be attributed to three factors, Wulff said. The better caliber of opponent, the Wade Jacobson injury and the unsettled situation at quarterback. … Asked how to defend Oregon, Wulff said the teams that have done a good job, mentioning Auburn and LSU, have outmanned them physically. “You've got to go after them,” Wulff said. But make a mistake, slip up once and they'll take it to the house. … I asked Wulff what team presents more challenge to the WSU defense, Stanford or Oregon. He mentioned how well he felt the Cougars played against the Cardinal but he'll have to defer his answer until after the Oregon game. … I asked a couple questions about the criticism he and the staff have been receiving since the OSU game. Though I'm using much of his answer in a story this week, along with some thoughts from players, Wulff did say the expectations have been raised. People expect the Cougars to win because they've won some games. Being upset over a loss is OK, he's upset, the players are upset. Asked later if the Cougars had taken a step back with the defeat, Wulff said he didn't buy that. You can't judge whether a program is moving forward on one game or going backward on one. It's a big picture deal. … He also addressed Tuel's injury, though he didn't go into the detail I was able to run down later. When Tuel will play again is in the wait-and-see category. … Finally, Wulff talked about Chip Kelly. He likes him, having run into him originally when Kelly was the OC at New Hampshire. The Wildcats ran a lot of the same stuff Kelly is running know, Wulff said, it's just that the players who were running it didn't look like the Oregon players do. … Bud Withers has a few excerpts from Wulff's press conference, mainly having to do with the state of the program. … Here's a video from the news conference, courtesy of the WSU athletic department …

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• That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning. Until then …


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