Jeff Tuel, Washington State’s junior quarterback, finally is due to get his first start of the season Saturday, and the assignment won’t be easy — it’s Stanford, fifth-ranked by the coaches this week.
WSU coach Paul Wulff kept Tuel’s starting status quiet until game time, although he was hinting late in the week it would be Tuel over Marshall Lobbestael.
Wulff kept close counsel on this one. Some 20 minutes before the game, a WSU spokesman said he hadn’t been informed about the starter. Wulff, he said, had told him to use Lobbestael’s name on the announcement of starting lineups on the scoreboard, as he wanted to see Tuel in pregame warmups.
Tuel didn’t start the opener against Idaho State, feeling ill and giving way to Lobbestael at the start. But he felt better after getting medication, and just after getting in, was tackled on the sideline and broke his clavicle. He thus missed virtually five full games as Lobbestael filled in capably — just not at the level Tuel likely would have been.
Tuel found himself in the game with 14:08 left after WSU cornerback Damante Horton picked off an Andrew Luck deep pass at the WSU 29, just Luck’s third interception of the year.