Navy adds injuries to insult of 27-point loss to Tulane

November 11, 1991|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Correspondent

NEW ORLEANS -- Navy suffered not only the humiliation of a 34-7 loss to previously winless Tulane on Saturday night, but also seven key injuries.

Most seriously hurt is tailback/quarterback Jason Van Matre, whose right knee will be scoped this week.

Also injured were tailback Vinnie Smith (groin), defensive back Mark McGinnis (neck), linebacker Chris Beck (ankle), defensive back Chris Hart (groin), offensive guard Michael Davis (knee) and receiver B.J. Mason (shoulder).

The defeat, which dropped Navy to 0-9, the worst start in school history, was, perhaps, the most disappointing of the season.

The Mids' 38-0 loss to Notre Dame was at least expected, but Tulane (1-9) looked as tough as the Irish in scoring on its first four possessions to take a 28-7 halftime lead. (Yes, Navy, for the eighth time in nine games, scored first.)

"They [Tulane] are a pretty good football team," Navy coach George Chaump said. "We must be a pretty bad football team. That's all I can say."

It was a big admission for Chaump, who during the 0-8 start always had said his team was making an effort and progress.

On Saturday night, little went right.

The offense stalled behind Jim Kubiak, who was sacked seven times for a loss of 47 yards. And the defense made Tulane quarterback Jerome Woods and receiver Wilbert Ursin look like Heisman Trophy candidates. Woods hit Ursin on Tulane's first three scoring plays as the Green Wave scored as many points in the first half -- 28 -- as it had in any other game this season (a 38-28 loss at East Carolina).

"Anything I can say about this can't be good," Chaump said. "I don't know what to tell you. We just played a bad football game. It's very disappointing."

The previous worst start for Navy was in 1948, when the Midshipmen lost their first eight games before tying Army in the season finale for an 0-8-1 record. The nine losses tie a record for most defeats in a season.

Navy hasn't scored a second-half point since the fourth game of the season, against Bowling Green. The full-season post-halftime tally: Navy 20, opponents 136.

The Mids don't play again until Nov. 23 against Wake Forest. That's two weeks to devise a game plan and two weeks to mend.

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