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Lobbestael to get start

Cougars will give Tuel time to regain his form

PULLMAN – Quarterback Jeff Tuel will return to practice full-time today, but he won’t be returning to the starting lineup this week, Washington State football coach Paul Wulff said after the Cougars went through their usual pad-less Monday night workout.

Asked if Marshall Lobbestael would start against UCLA on Saturday, Wulff said yes, and indicated he was still unsure whether Tuel, who started every game last season, would even play this week.

“We’re just going to give him some quality reps and let him work himself back into it,” Wulff said of Tuel, who fractured his left clavicle Sept. 3 in the opener against Idaho State and hasn’t played since.

Lobbestael, who has held down Tuel’s spot in the lineup, is among those excited about the junior’s possible return.

“I can’t wait for Jeff to get back,” said Lobbestael, a fifth-year senior who is second in the Pac-12 in total offense (321.5 yards per game) and passing-yard average (333.8) and is third in passing efficiency (168.3 rating). “I am pumped for him that he’s recovering so good and I can’t wait until he gets healthy.”

Lobbestael said he knows Tuel is the starting quarterback and expects him to regain that spot when he’s healthy enough.

“Wait until you see this offense with Jeff,” Lobbestael said. “I’m not ragging on what I’ve done or (showing) a lack of confidence in me, but I’m excited to see what he can do this year. Everyone else should be too, that’s all I’m saying.

“I’m just going to keep preparing like I have been and my goal is just to be ready to play, whether that’s the first snap or second or third string.”