Madden's return buoys Mids

`We ... saw our intensity rise quite a bit' under QB

Navy notebook

College Football

September 26, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Can one player really make that much difference to a football team?

Navy wide receiver Jeff Gaddy said the answer is a resounding yes if that player's name is Brian Madden and he starts at quarterback.

"We just saw our intensity rise quite a bit with Madden in there," said Gaddy, who caught two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown during Saturday's improved showing in a 38-21 loss to Boston College.

"He has confidence in the pocket and presence in the huddle. He is a very aggressive guy. He did a lot of correcting during the game when we may have gotten flags.

"And he was putting the ball on the money most of the day. He threw three perfect ones to me. Yes, one guy can definitely make that much difference. You know what his abilities have been in the past. He put us at ease."

Coach Charlie Weatherbie said the addition of a key man can transform any team. "You have to feed off one another. That's what we did and have to continue to do."

No doubt Madden will be the starter when the Midshipmen return to the playing field Oct. 6 against rival Air Force.

Weatherbie asked Madden how his right knee (which was wrecked during 2000 spring practice) was after the game, and Madden replied: "It's fine, but everything else is sore."

Madden quickly became the team's leading rusher by gaining 106 yards on the ground, and pitched in with his first career 100-yard passing game (124 to be precise).

Looking for an 11th game

Navy continues to investigate the possibility of adding an 11th game after its trip to Northwestern was canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Acting athletic director Capt. Kevin Sinnett said there is "still a chance" the school will book an opponent for Nov. 3, an open date, but this weekend, the other open date on the schedule, is definitely out.

Sinnett is briefing incoming athletic director Chet Gladchuk on the situation. Gladchuk is at his desk after driving from Houston last weekend and arriving in Annapolis Saturday night.

He missed the game against Boston College, which is his alma mater.

Alert status downgraded

Although Gladchuk's wife was denied entry to the academy grounds until she got a visitor's pass, restrictions have been eased this week.

The alert status has been downgraded to Bravo, which means civilians can be escorted onto the campus as guests.

Athletic events after school hours are also open to members of the public with a picture identification (e.g., driver's license). But all civilians must enter Gate 1, the main gate.

Tuesday's football news conferences have been held at the stadium, but will return to the boathouse on campus next week.

Et cetera

Numerous tickets are available for the Air Force game at FedEx Field in Landover and can be purchased by calling 800-US4 NAVY or at Ricketts Hall. They will be plentiful for the 80,000-seat stadium that is home to the Washington Redskins. ... With the players taking six-week examinations and Saturday off, Weatherbie has cut back practice time this week. ... The coach saluted last Saturday's crowd of 30,000-plus as "as good in participation as any since I've been here. It was great to see how much support there was and how involved they were."

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