Huskies Insider Blog

Apple Cup 2011: Notes from Paul Wulff's Sunday conference call

Paul Wulff held his Sunday evening conference call with local media to wrap up Saturday's tough overtime loss to Utah.

He talked a little about the situation with Connor Halliday, who is still in the intensive care unit at the hospital having suffered a lacerated liver.

"He had an unbelievably courageous outing," Wulff said. "It looked like the initial injury happened early in the second quarter. He hung in there and took hits, threw the ball under duress and pain. I’m very proud of his effort. He brought us all they way back and with an opportunity to win the game. I’m very proud of his toughness and his grit. We were going up the No.1-ranked defense, he did a heck of a job considering those things."

Halliday was hit by a linebacker coming up the middle of the formation.

After the game, Halliday was feeling discomfort and went to the hospital for tests.

"I knew he was hurting after the game and he was going to some tests.," Wulff said. "About an hour after the game, we got an idea what was going on. It was a process all night till probably 11."

What's odd about the injury is that Halliday didn't suffer any cracked ribs.  He was hit right on the liver. Usually in these type of injury, a rib is broken and hits the organ.

" It was just right underneath that area," Wulff said. "Like the internist said, it was just a perfect hit, a very rare hit that they see in car accidents. It was very uncommon for a football injury."

Wulff said that Marshall Lobbestael will be the starter and David Gilbertson, the son of former UW head coach Keith Gilbertson, will be the back-up. Jeff Tuel, who is still recovering from the a broken clavicle and acute compartment syndrome, will not play.

The injury to Halliday and Tuel before that have killed the Cougs season.

"We've had some unfortunate things go against our team with the injuries from the beginning of the year," Wulff said. "Those things happen at key spots. It's really strange. But those things happen. Our kids are ready to go. I have no doubt they are going to come out fired up."

The Cougs also lost wide receiver Isiah Barton, who suffered a tear of the ACL in his right knee. Barton had 49 catches for 638 yards and five touchdowns this season.  Barton suffered the injury without being hit on the play.

“He just planted, unfortunately those ACL can happen," Wulff said.  "I think 70 percent of those ACL injuries are non-contact ones, they are all individuals just planting."

Defensive end Adam Coerper is also questionable after suffering a left knee strain of his MCL.

As for the game itself, Wulff said he thought Marquess Wilson got over the goal line on that last play before kicking the game tying field goal. He said he was sent a picture by someone at the game that said it looks as though Wilson got in. He wasn't sure why officials didn't review the play on replay, guessing it was a time issue.