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Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuel will make second start for Washington St.

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


It appears that true freshman Jeff Tuel will make his second start against Arizona State on Saturday, and the Cougars are probably hoping it will last longer than his first one.

Tuel was knocked out in the first quarter of last week's game with Oregon with a hip/back injury, but he's been running with the first-team offense this week.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Tuel has been helped by "a special pad constructed by equipment manager Josh Pietz and trainer Brian Oelke" that protects his hip.

If Tuel struggles, he'd be replaced by sophomore Marshall Lobbestael. The problem is No. 3. With senior Kevin Lopina out with a calf injury, sophomore walk-on Dan Wagner is the third option.

The Cougars' overall injury situation remains fairly bleak. Overall, the Cougars are down five players from the preseason offensive line depth chart.

Receiver Jared Karstetter (hip), linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis (staph infection), offensive guard Brian Danaher (concussion) and offensive guard Zack Williams (ankle) are likely out, while running back Dwight Tardy is nursing a shoulder injury and that could limit him. The makeshift offensive line that struggled against Oregon likely will remain the same against the Sun Devils, whose defense is as good or better than the Ducks. That line includes a 253-pound true freshman, Alex Reitnouer, at left guard and a redshirt freshman, Tyson Pencer at left tackle.

There is good news. The Cougs get a bye next week, which should help them get at least a couple of injured players back.