Mids set mid-course correction and new goal of a .500 season

Close losses doom plan for turnabout to bowl

Navy notebook

November 10, 1999|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The disappointing siege of close defeats this season has forced Navy's football team to re-assess its objectives.

"The re-evaluated goal is to win six, one at a time," said coach Charlie Weatherbie. To do so, the Midshipmen have to capture their final three games and finish at .500 against a 12-game schedule.

"It would be nice to be 6-6," said guard Scott Swantner. ".500 would be great to give us a building base for next season. We had to re-establish what we want to do."

Navy believed it could rebound from a 3-8 record to challenge for a bowl invitation. The Commander in Chief's trophy was another aim, but a tough loss to Air Force ruined that quest, and the Falcons clinched the honor by beating Army last week. The Midshipmen have dropped five games by six or fewer points.

"We try to keep it one game at a time," said linebacker Mike McGee. "If you look at it any other way, you tend to overlook things."

Bumpy road for Tulane

Tulane has been undergoing some aches and pains under new coach Chris Scelfo after ripping to an 11-0 record under Terry Bowden (now at Clemson) last season.

Scelfo led the Green Wave to a 41-27 victory over Brigham Young in the Liberty Bowl after Bowden left prematurely, but injuries and departing seniors have left the cupboard a little more barren.

"Obviously, replacing all those players hasn't been easy," said the coach, whose team is on a three-game losing streak. "But the biggest problem has been turning the ball over."

Tulane (3-6) has been intercepted 18 times and lost 10 fumbles, averaging more than three turnovers a game. By contrast, Navy has committed only 11 turnovers in the same number of games.

Still, the Green Wave is a dangerous opponent because, according to Weatherbie. "They have great skill athletes, as good as any team we've played."

Particularly threatening are pass catchers JaJuan Dawson and Adrian Burnette, who have each averaged more than 100 yards a game receiving. Quarterback Patrick Ramsey can be expected to throw 40 to 50 times Saturday.

Johnson to be honored

Joe Johnson, the director of stadium operations at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, will be honored Saturday in a pre-game ceremony citing his 40 years of service. Johnson, who retires at the end of this year, has been responsible for all events at the stadium and has been an integral figure in game-day operations.

Senior farewell

Thirty seniors will play their final home game Saturday in what is always a special sendoff.

Twelve starters will be making their last appearance: defensive stalwarts Gino Marchetti, David Ryno, Jamie Doffermyre (Arundel) and John Chavous, offensive stickouts Matt O'Donnell (Glenelg), Travis Williams, John Vereen (Severn), Terrence Anderson and Jarrett Davies, punter Tray Calisch, place-kicker Tim Shubzda and snapper Doug Martin.

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