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Jeff Tuel looking like starter at quarterback for Cougars in Apple Cup

Connor Halliday was absent from Monday night's practice, and Washington State coach Mike Leach said Jeff Tuel will "probably start" against the Washington Huskies.

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel will "probably start" on Friday for the Washington State Cougars in their Apple Cup game against the Washington Huskies.

The news came as starter Connor Halliday was absent from Monday night's practice. Afterward, WSU head coach Mike Leach did not tell The Spokesman-Review the reason for Halliday's absence, but did say Tuel will likely play for senior day in Pullman, Wash.

If Halliday, a sophomore, is not available for Friday's game, junior David Gilbertson will be Tuel's backup.

Tuel and Halliday have split duties throughout Leach's first year as head coach. Washington State is 10th in the nation in passing yards per game, but neither quarterback has done enough to separate himself from the other.

Both players have appeared in nine games this season. Tuel has 1,737 passing yards on the year, eight touchdowns, six interceptions and a 63.8 percent completion rate. Halliday has only completed 52.2 percent of his passes, but has thrown for 1,878 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the year.