After three weeks of watching his Naval Academy football team struggle, first-year coach George Chaump has come to an important conclusion about record-setting quarterback Alton Grizzard.
"We need to tap his ability, learn his gifts and utilize them even though they might not be the prototype of what we do [wide-open passing game]," Chaump said.
In the next breath, Chaump said, "We passed too much in the third quarter against Villanova."
A simple translation of those remarks means that Chaump is ready to take advantage of Grizzard's innate ability to run with the football instead of forcing him to pass at all costs.
"We've been trying to match the team style with Grizzard," said Chaump. "He's highly intense and wants to get it done right now. He needs more poise. We're learning more about what he can and can't do under game conditions."
Chaump said that Grizzard's shoulder was hurting him in the fourth quarter of the 23-21 victory over Villanova and that affected his ability to throw the ball.
"You have to do what's necessary to win, and we did that even though we gave them three touchdowns," said Chaump. "You can't be a slave to your game plan or any remarks you made before the game."
It will be tough for Chaump and the Midshipmen (2-1) to come up with the necessary ingredients for a win today when they meet Boston College (0-2) at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
In other games involving area teams, Towson State (0-3) visits Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2-1); Morgan State (0-4) is at Morehead State (1-3); Bowie State (1-2) plays host to Virginia Union (4-0); Johns Hopkins (1-2) meets Gettysburg (1-1-1) at home; Muhlenberg (0-3) visits Western Maryland (2-1); Salisbury State (0-3) travels to Shepherd (2-2); and Frostburg State (3-0) plays host to Grove City (0-2).
The BC Eagles play in the big leagues and have lost to Pittsburgh (29-6) and Ohio State ( 31-10) this season.
"You have to look deeper than the stats in an analysis of Boston College this year," said Chaump. "They have played better football teams [than two of the three Navy opponents this season]. It's early in the season, and they're hungry. Plus we went up there last year and beat them. We'll be playing an intense team looking for recognition."
For Grizzard, a senior who is the school's career total-offense leader with 4,553 yards, the run has always come easier than the pass. When in trouble, it has always been easier for him to weave his way through defenders than to pass the ball through them.
In victories over Villanova and Richmond and a loss to Virginia, Grizzard has carried the ball 32 times for 152 yards -- a 4.8-yard average which is second on the team to Jason Pace's 5.3 average gain.
Chaump said it is time for Grizzard and the Midshipmen to "establish our program by beating a Division I-A team that is pretty good."
Richmond and Villanova are Division I-AA schools.