ANNAPOLIS -- The day before last year's Army-Navy game, Roger Staubach gave what amounted to a pep talk to a down-and-out Naval Academy football team that was playing out a depressing 3-8 season.
Whatever Staubach said at the time obviously worked. The Midshipmen upset their archrivals, 19-17, the first win for Navy over Army since 1985.
Staubach gave a similar speech Friday, during a team meeting at Ricketts Hall, as Navy got ready for its homecoming game yesterday against James Madison at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
"I talked to them about perseverance, about the importance of picking yourself up after you get knocked down," Staubach said at halftime.
The speech wasn't nearly as inspiring, but the subject matter turned out to be appropriate, considering Navy's disheartening,
16-7 loss to the Dukes.
* Navy quarterback Alton Grizzard came into the game needing 6 yards to become the fourth player in school history to go over the 2,000-yard mark in rushing.
Grizzard did it with his first run from scrimmage, a 7-yard gain, but a long afternoon of sacks pushed the senior from Virginia Beach, Va., back below the 2,000 mark.
He finished the day with minus-14 yards and is now at 1,981.
Jerry Dawson was one the few bright spots for the Middies offensively, catching seven passes for 88 yards. He has 14 catches in the latest two games, for 180 yards.
* The JMU players read the newspapers. They were incensed over remarks made last week about Navy being "embarrassed" by last year's 24-20 loss to the Dukes.
"We came here trying to win the respect we should have gotten after last year," said quarterback Eriq Williams. "You have to admit. We're a better football team, point blank."
The Dukes also read The Sun. Several players wanted to know whether the reporter who forecast a 21-20 Navy victory in yesterday's edition was in the locker room.
When told he was, fullback Willie Lanier said, "He obviously didn't see last year's game."
Good news for Navy: JMU is not on the schedule again until 1995.