Marshall Lobbestael keeping things in perspective
By Brady Henderson
After two weeks, the list of the country’s highest scoring offenses is topped by an unlikely name.
The Washington State Cougars have averaged 61.5 points in wins over Idaho State and UNLV. Perhaps just as unlikely as a team that was 2-10 a year ago leading the nation in scoring is the fact that its offense is being led by a backup quarterback.
Through two games, Marshall Lobbestael has completed 74.5 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. (AP)
Marshall Lobbestael, who’s playing in place of injured starter Jeff Tuel, is third in the country in quarterback rating and tied for first with seven touchdown passes.
But it doesn’t sound like that early success has gone to his head.
Lobbestael, a guest Monday on “The Kevin Calabro Show”, said he knows the Cougars’ schedule will get much tougher and deflected praise to some of his weapons on offense, specifically mentioning wide receivers Jared Karstetter, Marquess Wilson, Bobby Ratliff and Isiah Myers and running backs Rickey Galvin, Logwone Mitz and Carl Winston.
“(Offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy) always says, ‘Just be one of the 11,’ and that’s kind of what I’ve been focusing on because the other 10 guys around me, there’s a lot of playmakers in there,” he said. “I feel like they kinda make (Tuel’s and my) job easy. That’s been evident the last two games.”
He added: “We’re extremely lucky this year to have that many playmakers around us.”
Lobbestael made six starts and played in 13 games between 2008 and 2009 — completing 48.5 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions in that span — before losing his job to Tuel. He was forced into the starting lineup for the Cougars’ season opener when Tuel came down with a stomach virus. Tuel came in for a series, only to suffer a broken collarbone when he was tackled while scrambling. He’s expected to miss at least five more weeks.
Lobbestael, who’s completed 74.5 percent of his passes and has yet to throw an interception this season, said the experience he’s gained as a fifth-year senior is one of the biggest reasons he’s playing better than he did earlier in his career.
He also credited Tuel.
“He’s been a huge help to me these last couple weeks, just kinda being an extra set of eyes out there for me,” Lobbestael said. “I think he’s handled it extremely well. I know it’s probably very hard for him, but he’s handled it very maturely. He should be proud about the way he’s handling it because I sure am [proud] of him.”
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