1. Gary Rogers blossoms
Can the Cougars’ new quarterback succeed in his fifth year while adapting to a new system? Rogers has the size and tools, but he played sparingly while Alex Brink had the job.
2. Good play from D-line
Is the defensive line stout enough? If it isn’t, the Cougars might not have enough weapons in the back seven to slow down offenses.
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3. Special-teams improvement
Will the special teams improve on recent seasons? Those units were among the shortfalls of the Bill Doba regime.
4. Avoid injuries
Do the Cougars have sufficient depth? WSU is thin at many spots — quarterback, running back, both lines — and can’t afford serious attrition.
5. Survive tough schedule
In coach Paul Wulff’s first year, is this team resilient enough to take potential early hits and keep on coming? Their first five Pac-10 opponents played in bowl games in ’07.