Gary McIntosh is back, but he is no longer the backup quarterback for the Naval Academy's football team.
Coach George Chaump said yesterday that McIntosh, a senior who quit the team two days before the season opener and returned last Sunday after apologizing to his teammates for his actions, is just one of three players who could be called into action to replace four-year starter Alton Grizzard.
"Right now I'd flip a coin to decide between McIntosh, Brian Ellis and plebe Jason Van Matre," said Chaump. "I haven't resolved that situation [who is No. 2] yet."
Chaump said there is no way that the record-setting Grizzard is going to be pulled out of a game unless he is injured.
"The better question to ask me is what I would do if Alton Grizzard is hurt," said Chaump, who called the McIntosh "case closed. It's done and over with."
The first-year coach of the Midshipmen (1-1) preferred to talk about Grizzard's mental toughness and tenacity late in Saturday's 56-14 loss to Virginia. "Alton's timing was off, and he was out of sync," said Chaump, "but I wanted to keep him in the game, and if he could have thrown a touchdown pass on the last play of the game I wanted him to do it."
Chaump also said: "I don't want a player ever to think I've given up on him. I was hoping he would come back strong, and he did VTC late in the game. He has a lot of mental toughness. He got hit hard by a Virginia lineman late in the game but he got right up and threw a completion. On the next play after that, he threw another completion."
Grizzard completed 19 of 44 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown against the Cavaliers, running his total to four touchdown passes in two games.
Grizzard moved within 13 yards of becoming the Navy's career total offense leader, running his number of total yards to 4,394 and moving into third place behind all-time leader John Cartwright (4,406 yards) and second-place Bill Byrne (4,399).
Of the pounding taken by Navy in the second game after opening the season with a 28-17 victory over Richmond, Chaump said, "We're right back where we started. We played a good team in Virginia hoping for a big upset. If not that, we wanted to be highly respectable. We did not do either. So where are we right now? We're just like it's our first ballgame and it's one of those games we have to win."
The Middies will meet Villanova (1-1) at 1:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Saturday. The Division I-A Wildcats are coming off a 37-14 trouncing by William and Mary last week after opening with a 31-7 win over Maine.
Villanova is led by quarterback Tom Colombo, 5 feet 6, a nephew of the late heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano. After throwing 85 touchdown passes in high school, Colombo, a walk-on, earned a job and has thrown for 365 yards and three touchdowns in two games this season.
"If he had Rocky Marciano as an uncle, he must have pretty good blood lines," said Chaump.