McCoy replaces Fay at QB as Weatherbie looks to run But both expected to play in home opener vs. SMU

Navy notebook

September 19, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Junior Chris McCoy received the ball yesterday as Navy's starting quarterback of the week.

He will replace senior Ben Fay for Saturday's home opener against Southern Methodist, largely because of a 101-yard rushing output in a 10-6 victory at Rutgers on Sept. 7 and a productive series of workouts since then.

In making his selection, coach Charlie Weatherbie said McCoy's 273 ground yards against SMU last season (an NCAA record for a player in his first game) was not a major consideration.

"We'd like for him to have 273 yards again," said Weatherbie of his running specialist. "But that wasn't necessarily why. He played well against Rutgers and has had a good two weeks on the practice field."

Fay was in the starting lineup for the opener, but was not effective. McCoy entered after two series and was under the ball when the Midshipmen drove the second-half kickoff 76 yards to the game's lone touchdown (which he scored).

"We still see both of them as starters, and we expect both to play," said Weatherbie.

Facing a new dimension

SMU coach Tom Rossley has a much improved team from the one that Navy thrashed, 33-2, in the Cotton Bowl last season. The Mustangs are 2-1, including a23-10 victory at Arkansas.

The Mustangs, who have 10 fifth-year seniors, were not a healthy team when they last saw Navy. That has changed.

"We have quite a few back who weren't able to play last year," said Rossley.

Foremost on the list is quarterback Ramon Flanigan, who suffered a dislocated hip on the first play from scrimmage in 1995.

"He's our leader and captain. He finds a way to get us into the end zone," said the coach.

Air threat a concern

Weatherbie was extremely pleased with the Navy defense in the opener, but Rutgers was missing its top runner and had tried three different quarterbacks.

SMU presents a greater challenge.

"They throw deep eight to 10 times a game whether anybody's open or not, just trying to make something happen," said Weatherbie.

Patterson back in booth

Ted Patterson will return as the Navy radio play-by-play man for at least five weeks while Steve Buckhantz recovers from a bulging disk in his back.

Patterson has been doing the color commentary, which now will be handled by former Redskin Pete Larson.

Two television additions: The game at Boston College Sept. 28 will be carried by ESPN2 and the Oct. 12 game at Air Force will be on HTS via tape delay Sunday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.

Pub Date: 9/19/96

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