Navy at a glance

September 04, 1997

Coach: Charlie Weatherbie (14-9), third year at Navy

Last year: 9-3

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM)

Stadium: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (30,000)

Offense: Multi-option spread

Defense: Nickel

Top returning players: QB Chris McCoy, SB Pat McGrew, C Brian Drechsler, OG David Loya, FB Tim Cannada, S Gervy Alota, S Rashad Smith, CB Sean Andrews, DT David Viger, LB Travis Cooley

Top newcomers: QB Steve Holley, SB Jason Wolf, SB Matt Nelson, FB Matt Harden, LB Jake Bowen

Strengths: McCoy can win a game single-handedly with elusive running ability. The defensive backfield has experience with safeties Alota, Smith and Kevin Lewis and cornerback Andrews. The kicking game is also solid with return of punter Jason Covarrubias and place-kicking tandem of Tom Vanderhorst and Tim Shubzda.

Weaknesses: Graduation of LB Clint Bruce left big leadership void on defense. Navy also lost big-play receiver in Cory Schemm. LeBron Butts is only starting WR returning. McCoy must stay healthy with sophomore Steve Holley an untested backup.

Strongest opponent: Notre Dame at South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 1. The Irish have won the last 33 meetings.

Key game: The opener at San Diego State tomorrow at 2: 30 p.m. Eastern time. The Midshipmen lost the last meeting in 1994, 56-14, and need strong start to prove last season's turnaround was no fluke.

Schedule

Date Team Time

Sept. 5 at San Diego State 2: 30 p.m.

Sept. 13 Rutgers 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at SMU 8 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Duke 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Air Force noon

Oct. 18 VMI-x 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 at Notre Dame 1: 30 p.m.

Nov. 8 Temple noon

Nov. 15 Colgate 1 p.m.

Nov.22 Kent 1 p.m.

Dec. 7 Army-y noon

x-homecoming; y-at East Rutherford, N.J.

Pub Date: 9/04/97

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