Justin Case

Oct 132005
Authors: Trevor Edy

In case you haven't noticed, Justin Holland is once again leading the Rams.

After a short and disappointing 2004 season that ended in injury, the senior quarterback was determined to get back on the field to lead his team to victory. So far this season, he has done just that.

Holland's season was abruptly ended due to a broken leg suffered in the sixth game of last season – a memory that hasn't left him.

"Sixth game, first quarter," Holland said without hesitation.

Holland is now the second leading passer in the Mountain West Conference and is ranked No.14 in the nation in passer rating through five games. He is currently averaging more than 250 yards per game and has 12 touchdowns on the season.

The emergence of running back Kyle Bell has helped Holland's numbers.

"People are now back to the old ways where you have to stop CSU's run and that has really opened things up," Holland said.

The 6'3", 207-pound quarterback is currently the least sacked quarterback in the MWC, as he has only been sacked three times with an ailing offensive line in front of him.

"They've done a tremendous job. You can't ask a whole lot of an offensive line that loses Albert Bimper. Mike Briesel plays through every injury known to man, Brandon (Alconcel) was out for a while…to allow three sacks in five games has just been tremendous," Holland said.

Justin has hooked up with seven different receivers in the end zone and has connected ten or more passes to four different wide-outs on the season.

"When you have guys like Johnny (Walker), Dave (Anderson), Dustin (Osburn), Luke (Roberts) or Kory (Sperry), one-on-one with DBs, that is just a dream for me," Holland said.

Sporting News, a college football analysis magazine, rated Holland one of the top quarterbacks in the 2006 NFL draft. Scouts like Holland's 'NFL arm' and his calm persona in the pocket. Justin is a true pocket passer and thrives in the two-minute drill.

"I'm not going to lie, the two-minute drill is my favorite part of football, you just go out there and play," Holland said.

Even nationally recognized college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit acknowledged Holland as an NFL caliber quarterback with fantastic arm strength and accuracy during a televised game against Air Force on ESPN.

"Those types of things give me confidence to let me go in and play my game," said Holland.

Being in a program so long, a quarterback can learn the offense very well, and that is what Holland has done in his four and a half years with head coach Sonny Lubick.

"Justin understands our offense, he's smart enough to make the right throws and establish our offense," said wide receivers coach Marc Lubick.

Holland is a Colorado native, hailing from Bear Creek High School where he set the state record for passing yards and touchdowns. He is also No.16 in all-time prep passing yards nationally, along with names such as Tim Couch (Green Bay Packers) and Chris Leak (University of Florida).

"I've been around the NFL and Justin can compete with the best of them. He's so smart and talented," said Lubick, who worked with the St. Louis Rams prior to joining his father's coaching staff.

So if you haven't yet noticed, start noticing. Everyone else has.

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