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Is it Tuel time at UCLA?

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Ted Miller

    [​IMG]Washington State is surely pleased to have a good problem, as it knows all about bad problems, but a good problem is a problem nonetheless.

    Starting quarterback Jeff Tuel, who fractured his *clavicle in the season-opener, has been cleared to practice in full pads Monday. That means he might be able to play Saturday at UCLA. That means he might be able to, in fact, return to his starting spot.

    Yet that would mean benching senior Marshall Lobbestael. He's only*the nation's 13th-rated passer and has led the Cougars to a 3-1 start, including a thrilling comeback win at Colorado on Saturday.

    Coach Paul Wulff said last week that Tuel would return to the starting spot when he was healthy again, but there's some gray area here.

    How does Tuel look throwing the ball this week? Is he rusty? Is he confident? Or is he favoring the shoulder, no matter what the doctors tell him?

    Might it be best to take an extra week? Or to let Tuel come off the bench perhaps to gradually get used to game speed again?

    Further, while the general rule is a starter doesn't lose his job due to injury, coaches also know that sometimes it's not good for the team to break up a good run with change, particularly the major change of inserting a different guy behind center.

    My take? Hey, thanks for asking!

    If he's 100 percent, Tuel is your man.

    Lobbestael has done more than anyone could possibly expected, but this is Tuel's team. He's a more talented passer than Lobbestael. He's even more mobile. The offense can do more things with him in the game.

    So, if Tuel is ready to go, he should regain his starting spot, with Wulff knowing he's got*an outstanding*security blanket if Tuel gets hurt. Or even if Tuel struggles when he comes back.

    Really, this is a singular issue for Wulff, who may need a bowl game to retain his job into 2012: Who gives him the best chance to get a W on Saturday? That is all that matters.

    Here's some more analysis.

    Originally posted by ESPN.com - Pac-10 Blog
    Click here to view the article.

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