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New Mexico St Preview 2006 Further Analysis
New Mexico State Aggies
Posted Aug 9, 2006

New Mexico State Aggies Preview 2006 - Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Come With Me – At 6’6” and 235 pounds, Chase Holbrook is a man.  Those of us who once played or those of us who dreamt of playing football would’ve killed to have that physical stature, especially as a pocket passer.  Stand back in the pocket.  Look over the line.  Find an open receiver and let ‘er rip.  Boy, that’d be fun.  On top of that, Holbrook isn’t going to have to worry about not getting to throw the ball enough – he’ll get his shots to throw the ball all across the field.  That’s probably why he followed head coach Hal Mumme from Southeast Louisiana after his freshman year.  Now, he should have full command of Mumme Ball, which has been successful at Valdosta State and Kentucky.  But, last year was an unmitigated disaster for Mumme and the New Mexico State offense, and the pressure to keep this year from disintegrating into 2005 rests mostly on the broad shoulders of Holbrook.  He should get some help from RB Justine Buries, who led the Aggies in rushing yardage last season, and the running game, but then again, Buries had the opportunity to face six man (or less) interior defensive boxes.  So, it won’t be like Holbrook is playing with both hands tied behind his back.  If he makes the right reads and manages the game well, Mumme will help put him and the offense in the right spot and get them into the end zone…eventually.  There’s a reason that Holbrook followed Mumme to Las Cruces.

2nd and Seven – Big Shoes to Fill – Inside linebacker Jimmy Cottrell was one of the most decorated Aggies’ defenders the school has ever seen.  Unless you were an Aggie fan, you didn’t know about him, though, but Cottrell was a flat running stud.  Last year alone, he had 179 tackles.  That’s not a misprint.  1.  7.  9.  However, with Cottrell out of eligibility, the pressure of the defense falls on a young man from American Samoa Shauna Leaupepe.  The Samoan backer redshirted last season, but is needed to have a tremendous season, following in the shoes of Cottrell.

3rd and Three – A New Start – This offense needs play makers.  Akieem Jolla needed a new home.  Well, they needed each other, really.  The former Miami Hurricane transferred from Coral Gables to Las Cruces as a result of being closer to his New Orleans home after devastating Hurricane Katrina.  Jolla was granted immediate eligibility to play after transferring, considering the circumstances that forced his departure from Miami, and the Aggies should reap the benefits of having such an experienced receiver in their midst.  He should be the Aggies lead receiver from day one of his new start.

4th and One – We’re not in Valdosta anymore, Toto – At Valdosta State, Mumme’s offense was nearly unstoppable.  In the SEC, Kentucky was an offensive force immediately and even teams in that great conference had trouble stopping Mumme’s Air Attack.  Last year?  Um, it wasn’t so easy to get the Aggies into the end zone.  So, year one, okay, we’ll look past it and give Mumme a pass, so to speak, but at each of his other stops, he was able to get things done offensively as soon as he set foot on campus.  So, okay, maybe it takes a little bit more time at New Mexico State, but maybe this is the albatross that Mumme can’t overcome.  Chase Holbrook may not be Chris Hatcher or Tim Couch, but he’ll have to be better than last year’s NMSU’s QB duo.  Either way, Mumme can’t see that L column grow exponentially again this year or it won’t matter what offense he runs or what he did in the past.

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