Rogers: United Cougs optimistic about 2007

A WEEK AFTER WSU'S confounding loss to lowly Washington -- a defeat that torpedoed once-certain bowl prospects -- the Cougars' talented No. 2 quarterback was nothing less than buzzing with optimism about the future. Gary Rogers says he sees good things on the crimson horizon and plans to spend a significant portion of the offseason dissecting game film.

Ending the season 6-6, with three straight defeats against foe they were favored to dispatch, the Cougars' fans are grousing at a decibel level not seen since 2000 when Mike Price lost his second straight battle with Idaho. Just don't expect Rogers to join in the naysaying. He's also quick to the defense of two guys who have tended to attract much of the peanut gallery's ire: offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller and quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach.

"I respect both of those guys a lot," said Rogers. "I definitely like my (position) coach, coach Rosey. He's a great coach. And he's taught me a lot of things."

Rogers, a 6-6, 234-pound junior-to-be, has no doubt the Cougs will rebound from their late-season meltdown.

"I thought we played really well early, but those last three games kind of hurt us. From a team standpoint, we just need to do what we've been doing," he said last week. "Every year that I've been here we get closer as a family. Over the summer, we just need to keep doing what we've been doing and we'll be fine."

Rogers said he plans on poring over film this offseason and hitting the voluntary workouts with renewed enthusiasm.

"From a personal standpoint, I'm just going to watch a lot of film in the offseason, study film and get better. This year I got to play a little bit and got more reps in practice, so that helped," he said.

Rogers completed 18 of 31 passes (58.1 percent) this season for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He threw two interceptions. His efficiency rating was a stellar 135.08.

Bottom line, says Rogers, "I'm looking forward to next year ... Go Cougs!"

If you want to know the difference between a 10-win season and a no-bowl game season, you needn't look any farther than scoring margin. In 2003, when the Cougs went 10-3, they scored an average of 10.54 points more per game than their opponents. In 2004, when WSU was 5-6, the margin was minus 2.9. Last season, a 4-7 effort, the Cougs were back to the plus side, but only at 2.0. And in this just-concluded 6-6 campaign, the Cougs' scoring margin was but plus 1.5.

Cougar senior safety Eric Frampton, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection, posted exactly 100 tackles this season. He's the first Cougar since linebacker Don Jackson in 2003 to hit the century mark in total tackles in one season.

  • Two future Cougars go for prep gridiron glory this weekend. Washington State verbal commitments OL Kevin Freitag and QB Marshall Lobbsetael play in the class 3A and 4A state championship games, respecively, this weekend.

    The 6-3, 296-pound Freitag powers the Kennedy offensive attack against Bellevue on Friday night in a match up of two 13-0 teams. Lobbestael (6-3, 195) will direct the Oak Harbor (12-1) offense against Bothell (12-1) after defeating No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Prep in the semis. Ian Furness will have the call of the Kennedy-Bellevue game on KJR radio Friday night at 7:30. Both games will also be shown on FSN Northwest.

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