Kubiak, Van Matre come out smoking QBs needed cigars to get some sleep

December 08, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- In their hotel room Friday night, Navy's Jason Van Matre said he and roommate Jim Kubiak "were so wired" they couldn't sleep. Sleep came, finally, after they smoked cigars.

"Kube brought them," Van Matre said. "We were like kids before Christmas. At 1 a.m. we went to bed in a cloud of smoke."

There were no ill effects. Van Matre, a sophomore tailback/quarterback who did a little of everything, and Kubiak, a plebe quarterback with a rifle arm, joined to help Navy stun Army, 24-3, before 67,858 at Veterans Stadium.

Never in his coaching career, Navy coach George Chaump said, had he used two quarterbacks in such a fashion as he did yesterday.

Kubiak, the kid passer, worked when Navy was outside Army's 30-yard line, and Van Matre frequently was at tailback. Then Kubiak left and Van Matre took over at quarterback to run the option.

"Once you're inside the 30, you're looking for a quarterback with confidence and maturity," Chaump said. "Jason has been in big games and adds another dimension with his running.

"Kubiak could have done it, but why not use all your talent? Anyway, it's tough to throw when you're inside the 30."

Kubiak completed 13 of 16 passes for 157 yards, with one interception. Van Matre rushed for 89 yards on 25 attempts, some from tailback and the others from quarterback. He scored Navy's first touchdown from 3 yards out.

Van Matre also threw one pass, completed it to Kevin Hickman for a 12-yard touchdown, caught five passes himself as a tailback for 38 yards and returned the opening kickoff for 15 yards.

"I don't think the Army-Navy game has ever had a guy playing quarterback and tailback in the same series," Chaump said. "Shades of the old triple-threat and single-wing."

Said Van Matre: "It's exciting to be so involved in the offenseWhen Coach gave me a chance to work at both positions, it made me realize I'm not washed up as a quarterback."

It did, however, offer a constant challenge to Van Matrthroughout the game: "I had to keep my mind focused. A quarterback is supposed to be poised. A tailback can play with reckless abandon."

Despite Chaump's claim he had never used quarterbacks this way and he never did spell out his plan to the two players, it didn't come as a surprise to Van Matre and Kubiak.

"I took some practice snaps, and we run a pro offense as well as option," Van Matre said. "Coach told me I'd be at quarterback in certain situations."

Kubiak had the impression Chaump would go with the samopen offense the Mids unleashed against Wake Forest two weeks ago. Kubiak became the first Navy quarterback to pass for 400 yards with 406 against the Deacons.

"But Jason and I are close," Kubiak said. "I don't mind sharinthe job, as long as we win. It would drive some guys crazy."

Kubiak's number is 16 and he does what he's told. Who is he to question the coach? He started the season on the plebe team and was brought up when Chaump made an adjustment in his offense.

"They put me in there," Kubiak said. "I was raw."

Although the two-quarterback system in the final game helped Navy avoid a winless season, Chaump may not carry it into next season. As Van Matre said, "it was right for us" yesterday, and nothing more.

Chaump says that if the 184-pound Van Matre "gets on the weights" over the winter, Navy might have a splendid tailback next fall. Kubiak may need only spring practice to blossom as the full-time quarterback.

"Using both was an emergency-type thing to get us where we wanted to be," Chaump said.

.` That is, 1-10 instead of 0-11.

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