McCoy runs Navy past SMU, 33-2

September 10, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Yes, he is the real McCoy.

It would be hard to improve on Curtis McCoy's debut at quarterback for the Naval Academy at the Cotton Bowl last night.

For openers, the 20-year-old sophomore from Morris, Ga., was fantastic. With legendary Navy quarterback Roger Staubach in attendance, McCoy rolled up 398 total yards to shatter a number of academy offensive records in leading the Midshipmen to a stunning 33-2 victory over Southern Methodist before 20,232.

McCoy's memorable performance enabled Charlie Weatherbie to make an impressive start as Navy coach. The Midshipmen, who have not enjoyed a winning season since 1982 and bowed to SMU, 42-13, two years ago, beat the Mustangs in every phase.

The 33 points represent the most Navy has scored against a Division I-A school in 11 games. The Mids compiled 562 total yards, 424 on the ground.

But McCoy managed to overshadow everyone. While Staubach met only frustration in two Cotton Bowl appearances during the 1962 season, McCoy, who strictly played defensive back on the Plebes last season, made things look easy in his new role.

"[McCoy] did a great job, he grew up a lot tonight. He's going to be a fine quarterback," Weatherbie said. "He handled himself very well tonight. He was very poised."

His 398 total yards bettered the previous academy mark for total offense of 378 set by Bill Byrne against Syracuse on Nov. 9, 1985. McCoy rushed for 273 yards on 23 carries including runs of 69 and 72 yards. He completed six of 11 passes for 125 yards.

He ran for one touchdown and passed for another before being relieved by sophomore Ben Fay in the fourth quarter.

McCoy said he could not remember having a better offensive day, even in high school. "Our blocking was awesome," McCoy said. "To see linemen blocking 20 and 30 yards downfield is incredible."

He said he did not suffer from opening-night jitters.

"I really wasn't nervous, I was confident because of the way we practiced. We were really motivated for this game."

Navy's coaches knew McCoy had potential as an option quarterback, but wondered how he would withstand the pressure of his first varsity start and running an entirely new offense featuring four sophomores. But no one could have anticipated what followed.

He showed brief flashes in Navy's first two offensive possessions, but could not move the Mids beyond the SMU 46.

Late in the first quarter, McCoy showed unusual poise in directing his first touchdown drive, covering 64 yards in five plays.

His first pass completion for Navy was good for 31 yards to Ross Scott, carrying to the SMU 33.

After a 5-yard offside penalty, McCoy scooted around the right side for 19 yards. The drive appeared to stall when Patrick McGrew lost 2 yards on a pitch play and then dropped McCoy's pass in the end zone.

Faced with third-and-12 from the 21, McCoy eluded a pass rush and darted up the middle into the end zone. Jason Covarrubias added the extra point for a 7-0 Navy lead with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

NEXT FOR NAVY

Opponent: Rutgers

Site: Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Record: 0-1

Yesterday: Lost to Duke, 24-14.

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