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 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Washington State quarterback Kevin Lopina fractured a bone in his lower back in last weekend's win over Portland State and will be out indefinitely, the team said Tuesday.
Backup Gary Rogers also broke a bone in his spine in the same game and was already out for the season. Both are expected to make full recoveries.
Redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael is expected to start Saturday's game against Oregon.
Lopina, making just the second start of his career, was knocked out of the 48-9 win over Portland State when he was sacked by Eloka Anyaorah with 3:03 left in the first half. He walked off the field and did not return.
Lopina was initially thought to have a badly bruised throwing shoulder, but tests found that he had a fracture in his lower back, team trainer Bill Drake said.
Lopina's status will be evaluated on a weekly basis, Drake said.
iss the rest of the season.
The news leaves Washington State (1-3, 0-1) with virtually no experience at quarterback heading into the game with Oregon (3-1, 1-0).
Lobbestael, in his first extensive playing time, completed 9 of 12 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns during the second half against Portland State. He was named Pacific-10 offensive player of the week, but that doesn't make coach Paul Wulff comfortable.
``Let's be realistic. He's a redshirt freshman with very little experience,'' Wulff said.
It's one thing to be on the sideline and get shoved into a game on short notice, Wulff said. As the starter, there is much more preparation and expectation.
``You feel like you've got more on your shoulders and the team is depending on you,'' Wulff said. ``Hopefully, those nerves will not affect his play.''
It will be a rush of preparation for Lobbestael this week. He never got to practice with the No. 1 offense during training camp, because all the snaps went to Rogers and Lopina.
The Cougars will likely simplify their play selection because of that. Lobbestael is also spending a lot of time watching film.
``We were here last night at 10:30 and he was still watching film,'' Wulff said. ``We told him to get the heck out of the office.''
redshirt Levenseller, the son of offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller, but said he would play if needed.
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