Holbrook back for more at NMSU

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					The Artesia (NM) Daily Press- August 17, 2008 -Page 3

Intrasquad Scrimmage
The 2008 Bulldog football team capped off its week of two-a-days Friday evening at Bulldog Bowl with the annual intrasquad scrimmage. The ‘Dogs did not shy away from using their pads on just their second day in full football regalia and treated the good-sized crowd at the Bowl to several highlight plays. At left, junior running back Jacob Olivas finds a seam. At right, senior linebacker Patrick Lopez takes down a receiver. Below left and below center, Steven Polito and Rolando Chavarria dodge the defense. Below right, the sophomores get in on the action, as Ryan Bledsoe makes a leaping reception. See the sports page at www.artesianews. com for more photos.
Brienne Green - Daily Press

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer NEW YORK (AP) — By the time Georgia was done demolishing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl, it was apparent the Bulldogs were well on their way to being No. 1 — to start the 2008 college football season. Seeking its first national championship in 28 years, Georgia is on top of The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the first time. The Bulldogs received 22 first-place votes and 1,528 points from a panel of 65 media members in the poll released Saturday. “To have people believing we have one of the best teams in the nation going into this thing, it’s exciting for us,” Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said in a telephone interview with the AP. “I don’t think anything is guaranteed, but we certainly have put ourselves in position where at least the college football world thinks we’re pretty good.” Ohio State, coming off a second consecutive loss in the national championship game but returning 20 starters, is No. 2. The Buckeyes received 21 first-place votes and 1,506 points. No. 3 Southern California, which plays Ohio State in Los Angeles on Sept. 13, received 12 first-place votes. No. 4 Oklahoma had four first-place votes and No. 5 Florida received six first-place votes. Georgia finished last season 11-2 and No. 2 in the country behind Southeastern Conference rival LSU. The Tigers won the national championship in the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 7 by beating the Buckeyes. But a week earlier on that same field the Bulldogs ended their season with a seventh straight victory and sent a message about 2008: “Look out!” Georgia toyed with high-scoring Hawaii and its Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Colt Brennan in a 41-10 rout, and one glance at the Bulldogs’ depth chart, with all those freshmen and sophomores playing major roles, revealed the Bulldogs would be a force this season. The questions started even as Georgia celebrated its big victory on the confetti-covered turf. Richt’s job since then has been to keep his team from getting too wrapped up in the hype. No. 6 Missouri has its best preseason ranking, followed by No. 7 LSU, No. 8 West Virginia, No. 9 Clemson and No. 10 Auburn. The second 10 of the Top 25 begins with No. 11 Texas, followed by Big 12 rival Texas Tech. No. 13 is Wisconsin, with Kansas and Arizona State next. BYU, ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1997, is 16th. Virginia Tech is 17th and Tennessee is 18th. South Florida, which made the AP Top 25 for the first time last year and rose all the way to No. 2, has its first preseason ranking at No. 19. Illinois rounds out the top 20, and the final five are Oregon, Penn State, Wake Forest, Alabama and Pittsburgh.

Georgia is No. 1 in Holbrook back for more at NMSU preseason AP poll
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Make no mistake, New Mexico State quarterback Chase Holbrook is eager to take a shot at the NFL. But first, a more pressing mission — ending his school’s 48year bowl drought. “There’s a lot of unfinished business,” Holbrook said. “I thought about going to the pros, but there’s just too much that can still be done here. It’s been so long for New Mexico State to be in a bowl game.” Since 1960, to be exact. The Aggies beat Utah State 20-13 in the Sun Bowl that year but haven’t returned to the postseason since then, currently the nation’s longest skid. The hope is that Holbrook can take them back. “First goal is to go to a bowl game,” said Holbrook, a senior from Hurst, Texas. “We’ve been saying it for two years now. Those seasons haven’t turned out the way we wanted but I really have a good feeling about this one.” Holbrook, a strapping 6-foot5 and 246 pounds, went through workouts for visiting NFL scouts last spring. Advised he was projected as a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick, he decided to return for his final year of college football. Turns out there really wasn’t anything to consider. “I definitely was coming back,” he said, cracking a smile. “I just wanted to see what the NFL people thought about where I might be. I figured it didn’t hurt to ask the question.” The last New Mexico State quarterback to leave a big impression on the NFL was Charley Johnson, who after helping the Aggies to back-toback Sun Bowl titles in 1959 and 1960 went on to a 15-year pro career. New Mexico State coach Hal Mumme, who worked with former No. 1 draft pick Tim Couch when he was at Kentucky, believes Holbrook could be next. “I think he is recognized by all the NFL people as a player who has tremendous potential,” Mumme said. Last fall Holbrook stretched his total number of school records to 36. He threw for 3,866 yards passing and 26 touchdowns as a junior, but New Mexico State struggled to a 4-9 season that offered some new experiences. Holbrook fought through the fog of a concussion, played with injured ribs and was sidelined for two games. After the season Mumme disclosed that his signal-caller, all told, had missed about a month of practice. “It’s hard to have cracked ribs and play quarterback,” Mumme said. “But he is one of the toughest kids I’ve coached at that position, and he’s had some terrific games when he was hurt.”

Holbrook said the injuries helped him appreciate the importance of practice, which he’d always taken for granted. “It’s tough. Maybe you don’t feel situated as quickly when you get into the game,” he said. “Without the reps in practice, it might be the second quarter before you’re feeling 100 percent comfortable with what’s happening on the field.” One area where his time on the bench was apparent — interceptions. Although he became New Mexico State’s career passing and total offense leader and set a school record with a 70.2 percent completion mark last fall, Holbrook threw 18 picks. As a sophomore, he had just nine. “I didn’t do my part,” he said. “I threw too many interceptions. I didn’t help us win enough games. That’s my goal for this year, to cut down on turnovers. If I can do that, I think we’ll be in a bowl game.”

Glavine out for season, possibly career with injured shoulder
ATLANTA (AP) — Braves pitcher Tom Glavine is out for the season, and his illustrious career could be over if he needs major surgery on his injured left elbow. The 42-year-old Glavine still hopes to return next year — unless he needs elbow ligament replacement surgery. A 300-game winner, Glavine said Saturday he will be examined by Dr. James Andrews next week in Alabama. Glavine, placed on the disabled list Friday with a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow, plans to have surgery to repair the tendon. He said he’d give up his comeback hopes for 2009 if Andrews determines the pitcher needs the ligament replacement procedure, known as Tommy John surgery. Rehabilitation after that procedure often takes at least a year. A two-time NL Cy Young Award winner with Atlanta, Glavine gave up seven runs in four innings against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday in his first start since June 10. He is 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 games this season, and 305203 in his career. Glavine said his elbow began to stiffen in the fourth inning against the Cubs. “I know it’s not going to get any better,” he said. “Clearly it’s not going to hold up under the stress of me going out there every five days and throwing a lot of pitches.” Glavine said Braves doctors think the damage in his elbow is limited to the tendon. If Andrews confirms Glavine does not need ligament replacement surgery, the pitcher said he could have the tendon surgery immediately and recover in time for a normal offseason program. “By no means do I want to go through another year with what I’m going through now,” he said. “But at the same time, I don’t think I want my career to end this way, either. I think that lends me to think I want to pitch next year. I think it’s easier to walk away if you can honestly tell yourself, you know what, I can’t do it anymore. And I don’t know that I can answer that question right now because my body hasn’t allowed me to do it this year as much I wanted to.” Though his overall numbers are disappointing, Glavine said: “When I was healthy, I pitched well. When I wasn’t, I didn’t. That makes it harder to say I can’t do it anymore.”

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