If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly became so Saturday: Jeff Tuel is the quarterback of the Washington State Cougars and needs to get back in there ASAP.
When he broke his collarbone in the first game, it seemed to be a death knell for the Cougars. And while it hasn’t been exactly that, the Cougars have now lost two games they should not have – and probably would not have if Tuel had been playing QB instead of Marshall Lobbestael.
For the second time in three winnable road games, Lobbestael failed to finish the deal.
Lobbestael’s interception on the potential winning drive was his only glaring error at UCLA, but it was a huge one and a dumb one. And it capped a day on which Lobbestael failed to finish. Too many field goals and no big plays in the 28-25 loss to UCLA.
This was an even match of two below-average Pac-12 teams, and the Cougars dominated everywhere but on the scoreboard. It’s a game Tuel would have won.
Just like Tuel probably would not have turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter at San Diego State.
If Tuel had not gotten hurt, the Cougars likely would be 5-0 now.
Funny to think some people actually thought the Lobster should keep the job while he is hot. Well, he is not hot. He blew the San Diego State game, the Cougs barely rallied to beat a bad Colorado team, and he failed to put away UCLA when he had every chance to.
The Cougars have great offensive weapons – Marquess Wilson, Jared Karstetter, Rickey Galvin and company — and Lobbestael simply has not used them well enough.
Paul Wulff needs to get Tuel back in there ASAP. Last week, he told reporters, “Marshall is our guy, and he’s playing good football. We are going to stay with our guy until there’s a player better than him.
“When is Jeff going to be able to play better than him? That’s going to take a little bit of time and confidence in his health.”
Well, they’re officially out of time. Tuel is the better guy, and he needs to get in there ASAP. He was healthy enough to dress at UCLA, so hopefully he is healthy enough to play next week against Stanford. That much should be quite obvious after Wulff’s team basically Coug’d It twice in the last three games.
Lobbestael himself knows this offense is better with Tuel. He said it last week: “Wait until you see this offense with Jeff.”
We don’t want to wait. Put Tuel back in.