Pressured Kubiak displays passing potential in first start Navy-Air Force notes

October 13, 1991|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANNAPOLIS -- Just the prospect of dressing for his first varsity game was exciting enough for Navy quarterback Jim Kubiak. But, until just before yesterday's game against Air Force, he had no idea what the afternoon had in store for him.

Based on an impressive two weeks of practice, coach George Chaump made the decision two hours before the game to start Kubiak. With the second-largest crowd in the history of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium looking on, Kubiak admitted being a little nervous.

"Sure I was, anyone would be in that situation," Kubiak said. "I just tried to contain my nerves. It was a learning experience for me."

Kubiak completed five of his first six passes, but by game's end his final stat line -- 10 completions in 25 attempts for 71 yards and three interceptions -- wasn't overly impressive.

He made several mistakes that can be attributed to inexperience, but at times he displayed good velocity on his passes and showed a nice touch for a player whose college experience was as the starting plebe/junior varsity quarterback in wins over Fork Union Military and the Naval Academy Prep School (25 of 43 for 362 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in those two games).

"Quite honestly, he does have a good arm," Chaump said. "Someday he'll be an excellent quarterback. But right now, he's just a plebe."

The last time a plebe started a game at quarterback for Navy was in 1987, when Alton Grizzard started in a 23-13 loss to Air Force. While it's unknown whether Kubiak will be the starter next week against Temple, he was thankful for yesterday's opportunity.

"It was very, very exciting -- something I didn't expect," Kubiak said. "I was very positive about everything that happened. I just tried to take the ballgame like any other and tried not to get flustered and overwhelmed.

"I made some mistakes, and I'll just learn from that," he added. "I'm not negative at all about this."

* The 46 points by Air Force was the most by either team in their series, and the 40-point spread was the largest margin of victory for either team in their games. The previous biggest margin of victory was in 1986 when Air Force beat Navy, 40-6.

* The 46 points were also the most points at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 1976, when Penn State beat Navy, 56-3.

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