Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Holbrook's health

One thing that must be monitored this year is the health of quarterback Chase Holbrook.

Chase is a tough kid who plays hurt. But the bottom line is that the “Air-Raid” asks him to drop back a lot and he gets hit a lot. Holbrook has missed chunks of the past two seasons and him playing in all 12 games this year seems unlikely. Football players get banged up, particularly quarterbacks who drop back 50-70 times a game.

The offensive line was a bright spot last season and assistant coach Mason Miller will have to work his magic again with this unit. Gone are last year's starting tackles Mike Martinez and James Farrelly. Both played well in 2007 and replacing them can not be overlooked as a top priority as Week 1 approaches. Ask any offensive lineman and they will tell you they would rather run block than pass protect. NMSU's unit doesn't have much of an option, as the offense revolves around throwing the ball.

If Chase does go down, J.J. McDermott would get the call. His most significant action last year was at Louisiana Tech and he threw the ball well that night. But make no mistake. Chase is the leader of the Aggies and needs to be on the field in his senior year. Keeping him upright and healthy is a top priority.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Preseason polls

NMSU was voted to finish in seventh place by both the media and the coaches at the WAC football conference this week.

I can't say I'm surprised by this. And really, it has nothing to do with the Aggies. I actually think that NMSU has a chance to be a good team heading into 2008. But the WAC is just tough. Boise is Boise and Fresno is Fresno. Nevada will be good. Look out for Louisiana Tech too. I had them finishing above Hawaii in my poll. And I think they could be right there with Nevada when it's all said and done, knockin' right at that door.

Hawaii and San Jose? I really think if things break NMSU's way, they could finish above one of these teams or both. To say Hawaii lost some key pieces in the offseason would be a drastic understatement. San Jose is an underrated football team. They weren't bad last year and they had no ground game. They have good coaching. They will need someone to emerge at QB and get better play out of there running backs but look out for Yonus Davis. The kid was the real deal two years ago before getting hurt in 2007.

Where does that leave NMSU? In seventh. Tough to argue. Could they finish in the top 5? Sure. But things will have to fall right. Top 4? I don't think so. Not unless some big dogs fall. Not likely.