Washington State hasn't had a controversy over the starting quarterback since Josh Swogger went down with injury. At the time, Swogger and Alex Brink were the two guys vying for the starting job.
Alex Brink seized his opportunity to replace Swogger and went on to establish just about every passing record at WSU. He also dominated the UW in his Apple Cup appearances.
Gary Rogers backed up Brink for the past three seasons. Whenever Brink would stumble, the cry went out to put Rogers in.
With the height of a lineman and a cannon for an arm, most Cougar fans expected to see more of him on the field last season.
This spring, Coach Paul Wulff declared the competition for starting quarterback wide open. However, that didn't last very long. After a few weeks of spring practice, Coach Wulff felt that fifth-year senior Rogers was the man.
Kansas State transfer Kevin Lopina was better than expected, but Rogers was picking up the no-huddle offense quickly and had the arm to get the ball deep to fleet receivers like Brandon Gibson and Jeshua Anderson.
Now we're two games into the rebuilding phase of Cougar football, and Coach Wulff is taking a page out of the Coach Pete Carroll playbook. He's declared that there will be open competition for the start at quarterback this week when the Cougs travel to Baylor. Coach Wulff plans to put the guy out there who looks like he can lead the offense effectively.
Might be Rogers.
Might be Lopina.
This change of status at quarterback came about because the struggles Rogers has had in the first two games. Lopina saw some action to begin the second half against Cal. He came out slinging the ball nicely on the run. But Lopina also made a silly throw in the midst of a drive that might have at least stopped the rout Cal was putting on WSU.
After that, Lopina seemed to be a little too cautious.
Coach Wulff is looking to find ways to get the Cougar offense moving. He may have to make a change at starting quarterback. He may have to expand the playbook, which seems to be pretty limited in the first two games.
One thing is certain at the moment about moving the Cougar offense. Something needs to happen other than putting it on a plane to Waco, TX.
For now, instead of surprising wins, WSU fans may have to settle for surprises at quarterback.