Fay gets Mids' starting call at QB McCoy will log time, too, according to Weatherbie

Navy football notebook

September 05, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie yesterday named senior Ben Fay as his starting quarterback for Saturday's season opener at Rutgers.

"He'll be backed up by Chris McCoy," said Weatherbie. "I expect both of them will get playing time in this game and in all 12 ballgames. That wasn't a Freudian slip."

Twelve games is an allusion to a potential bowl game for the

Midshipmen, who haven't been to one since the 1981 Liberty Bowl.

Fay started the final four games in 1995 and was the team's leading passer. McCoy, a junior, was Navy's top rusher with 803 net yards and seven touchdowns. He gained 273 yards running in last year's opener, an NCAA record by a player in his first game.

The selection may force some defensive adjustments for Rutgers coach Terry Shea, who indicated in a Monday news conference that the Scarlet Knights were preparing seriously to face McCoy.

"He [McCoy] is one of the top option quarterbacks in the country," said Shea. "He will challenge our perimeter defense."

McCoy still may do that, but not at the start of the game.

Rutgers loses Bosch

Rutgers, a 38-28 winner over Villanova in a sloppy opener, will play without top runner Chad Bosch, who injured a shoulder in the second half of that game.

Bosch had 74 yards on the ground in the first half and caught two passes for 44 yards.

That will hurt a Scarlet Knights offense that is already unsettled at quarterback.

"We feel like we can play tough defense against Navy," said Shea. "That is the strength of our team."

Veteran team

Weatherbie starts 1996 with 40 lettermen, nine returning offensive starters and only one serious injury, a hamstring pull that will sideline defensive tackle Dave Viger.

"We've been waiting since December to get back and get the taste of that loss [14-13 to Army] out of our system," said the coach.

One of the Navy heroes in that game was place-kicker Tom Vanderhorst, who had two field goals and was poised to try a third when Weatherbie decided to go for it from the Army 1 late in the game -- and failed.

But Vanderhorst will be the backup Saturday to freshman Tim Shubzda, who gets first call after hitting a 52-yard field goal in the final scrimmage.

"We've got two fine PAT and field-goal kickers," said Weatherbie. TC "Both are capable of being the guy."

Pub Date: 9/05/96

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