Defense, offense split scoring load for Navy in 46-16 rout of SMU Defenders set up 23 points

2nd-half adjustments key

September 21, 1997|By Clarence E. Hill Jr. | Clarence E. Hill Jr.,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DALLAS -- Navy struggled to do anything right on offense in the first half and still enjoyed a halftime lead over Southern Methodist last night thanks to its opportunistic defense.

So it was no surprise what happened in the second half when quarterback Chris McCoy and the Midshipmen's potent wishbone offense got in gear and helped the defense and special teams turn a competitive game into a 46-16 blowout before 20,011 at the Cotton Bowl.

That crowd included Navy's 1963 Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach. Now a Dallas-area resident, he was Navy's honorary captain during the coin toss.

The Mids' defense kept the game competitive in the first half.

It set up 16 points with three plays:

Enrico Hunter got Navy on the scoreboard with a 28-yard interception return on SMU's second possession.

Trailing 10-7, Navy pinned the Mustangs at their 2-yard line on a punt by Jason Covarrubias. On the next play, SMU's Ramon Flanigan was sacked and fumbled. End Brad Wimmsatt recovered at the 1. Two plays later, fullback Irv Dingle dove for the touchdown and a 14-10 lead.

SMU followed with a drive and 14-yard scoring pass. But before the Mustangs could calm down from their celebration, the Mids blocked the extra-point kick and safety Charles Fisher returned it the length of the field for two points and a 16-16 tie.

Tom Vanderhorst kicked a field goal in the final minute to make it 19-16 at the half.

"They were focused and tried to stop what we were doing in the first half," Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie said. "The second half we just made adjustments. We found a way to get the ball to the fullback more and it did good things for us."

Two fullback-dominated drives resulted in 4-yard touchdown runs by McCoy and Navy had a 33-16 lead. Navy gained 175 rushing yards in the second half.

The Navy defense didn't stop contributing. In the fourth quarter, safety Rashad Smith returned an interception 25 yards for a TD.

Next for Navy

Opponent: Duke

Site: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C.

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 1-2

Yesterday: Defeated Army, 20-17

Pub Date: 9/21/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.