High point: After weeks of struggling, WSU offense takes off and scores 173 points in three weeks as the 'Cats win 5 of 6 games to make late rush for second in Big Sky.

Low point: In Big Sky opener and with defense shutting down Montana State, WSU offense can't move ball and QB Jimmy Barnes throws pair of pick-six passes to end his season.

Key players returning: Trevyn Smith, RB; Cameron Higgins, QB; Bryant Eteuati, WR/KR; Tim Toone, WR; Marcus Mailei, FB; Travis Harris, OL; Pate Moleni, DL; Bryce Scanlon, DL; J.D. Folsom, LB; Ryan Galovic, LB; Jonathon Carroway, CB; Terrell Cloud, CB; Steve Stutsman, DL; Kevin Linehan, DL; Mike Snoy, P/K.

Key players lost: Ty Sparrow, S; Brad Stewart, LB; Derek Johnson, DL; David Hale, OL; Dmitri Tsoumpas, OL; Adrian Conway, RB.

Areas of strength: Weber State might have the top returning offense in the Big Sky with the top rusher, top six receivers and newcomer of the year at QB all coming back next year.

Areas of concern: Coach Ron McBride must replace left side of OL with Dave Hale and Dmitri Tsoumpas graduating. Defense also has big holes to plug with Ty Sparrow, Brandin Williams, Brad Stewart and others gone.

2008 outlook: Entering the final year of his contract, McBride will try to go out with a bang. The offense is set up to be something special. WSU's defense has been stellar lately, so if both sides play well, 2008 could be the perfect wrap to a career. Getting off to a good start instead of digging an 0-4 hole, though, is critical.