Navy at a glance

September 03, 1999|By Kent Baker

Coach: Charlie Weatherbie (fifth season)

Last year: 3-8

Conference: Independent

Radio: WNAV (1430 AM), WJFK (1300 AM), WMAL (630 AM)

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

Offense: Spread

Defense: 3-4

Top returning players: QB Brian Broadwater, SB John Vereen, C Terrence Anderson, OT Kostas Hatzidakis, DE Brad Wimsatt, S Jamie Doffermyre, K Tray Calisch.

Top newcomers: FB Marlon Terrell, SB Dre Brittingham, LB Shaka Martin, CB Bas Williams.

Strengths: The offensive line is big and seasoned and should provide Broadwater with sufficient protection. Running a triple-option offense poses problems for a lot of opponents, who don't see it often during the season. The kicking game is strong with Calisch and placement specialist Tim Shubzda, who takes over full-time duty. Having Broadwater from Game 1 should be a plus. The defense accents quickness.

Weaknesses: Overall size could be a detriment, especially against national powers such as Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. The jury is still out on the passing game; Navy lost its top receiver, Ryan Read, and must develop a deep threat. The secondary is seasoned, but must be rated as questionable.

Strongest opponent: A tossup between season-opening foe Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, the two Gator Bowl opponents last December. Tech is ranked higher, but Navy must go to Indiana to meet the Irish, whom they haven't beaten since 1963 when Roger Staubach was the quarterback.

Key game: A no-brainer here. Even if the Midshipmen go winless until December, they can salvage their season with a conquest of Army in one of the nation's most colorful rivalries. Navy has only one win in the series since 1991 and has lost six heart-breakers by four or fewer points. --

Schedule

Date, Opponent, Time/TV

Sept. 4, Georgia Tech, Noon/HTS

Sept 11, at Kent, 6

Sept 18, Boston College, Noon/HTS

Sept. 25, at Rice, 8

Oct. 2, at West Virginia, Noon

Oct. 9, Air Force-a, Noon/HTS

Oct. 23, Akron, Noon

Oct. 30, at Notre Dame, 2: 30/Chs. 11, 4

Nov. 6, at Rutgers, TBA

Nov. 13, Tulane, Noon

Nov. 20, at Hawaii, 11 p.m.

Dec. 4 , Army-b , Noon/Chs. 13, 9

a-at Redskins Stadium, Landover

b-at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

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