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Wulff speaks about UNLV, Tuel

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Paul Wulff spoke for a little more than 10 minutes with the Pac-12 media, than another 12 with the local today. If I were in his shoes, I would walk out of the second one thinking, "There are 22 minutes of my life I'll never get back." But it's also 22 minutes we summarize on the link. Read on.

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• We'll start with the local presser, which is a conference call in a small room today attended by Wulff, a couple folks from media information (Bill Stevens and Bobby Alworth), a cameraman (Jared Prenguber) and myself. On the Pac-12 call, Wulff was asked if having played Bobby Hauck-coached teams five times when he was at EWU and Hauck was at Montana helped in prep (Wulff's answer: Somewhat. All the games were highly competitive). I wondered if the circumstances in those games, as Montana and Eastern always seemed to be playing for the Big Sky title and it was sort of a rivalry game, if that made this one different. Wulff thought it did. Not as much is riding on the outcome of Saturday's game. ... UNLV has a strong rushing attack with speed in the backfield and a quarterback who can move as well, so you have to be sound on defense. ... I asked if he talked with his team about Tuel's injury before practice and Wulff said, like all injuries where guys will be out for a while, it was discussed with the leadership group, of which Tuel is a member. But as a team thing, no. ... He praised the offensive line's ability to identify fronts and execute against ISU. ... Wulff was asked about Lenard Williams leaving the game late and he answered he just got the wind knocked out of him. ... Wulff was then asked what had changed in the past couple years that will help Lobbestael be more productive. He answered that the team was much better, there were more weapons around him, so Lobbestael doesn't have to do as much. Plus, Lobbestael is a fifth-year senior, he's more comfortable with himself and with his knowledge of the offenses. "He's going to play at a higher level," Wulff said. ... He talked about the depth at wide receiver, saying it allowed the offense to be more wide open and it allows WSU to redshirt two highly thought of freshmen, Dominque Williams and Rahmel Dockery, when he gets eligible. Asked if that meant Dockery was definitely going to redshirt, Wulff said no, there is no definitely with anyone. But the longer the NCAA process drags on, the more likely it becomes. He also said Alex Mitchell was working to get some grades up to make himself eligible so he can re-enroll in the spring. ... I asked about Sacramento State's upset of Oregon State and Wulff said it showed how a veteran team like Sac State, no matter the level, can compete with a team missing some people and young in spots. He said he actually told someone before Saturday that watch, Sac State is going to upset the Beavers. ... I then asked him a couple questions for my Pac-12 notebook about the possible expansion to the Pac-16. ... Asked what the key was to beating UNLV, Wulff talked about execution of the game plan in all three phases and playing tough, hard-nosed football. It's his usual pretty stock answer. ... He then talked about how hard hit the team – and the school – has been with the flu the past few days, saying it seems to be a 24-hour bug and he's hoping it's run its course. But no one knows for sure. ... In his Pac-12 call, Wulff talked more about Lobbestael, how he is as a person, how he's grown the past few years and how his faith has helped him through some tough times. ... He also said the offense won't change much, though there will be some tweaks to take advantage of Lobbestael's strengths. ... He mentioned that WSU is still a pretty young football team, with just one senior starter on defense.

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• That's it for now. We're headed out to practice and will add some thoughts when we're done. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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