- The Washington Times - Friday, October 7, 2005

Not only is a struggling Navy defense facing a potent Air Force offense today, it will do so without one of its most valuable members.

Junior defensive back Jeremy McGown will not play against the Falcons (2-3) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium because of a broken arm he suffered during last week’s game against Duke.

McGown did not practice this week and was given leave from the academy to have surgery on his left forearm Tuesday. His mother, Sue, said the surgery was successful and Navy coach Paul Johnson expects McGown to be out at least three to four weeks.

The injury happened early in the game against the Blue Devils, but McGown stayed in the game and finished with six tackles and a pass breakup.

“It was one of the most courageous things I’ve ever seen,” Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. “He made some very aggressive tackles and still ran around at 100 miles per hour.”

McGown came to Annapolis from Langham Creek High School in Houston as a quarterback before moving to wide receiver and eventually to the defensive backfield. Last season he started at safety before moving to cornerback this fall.

“He does so many things for this team,” Green said. “He makes big plays. He brings great leadership. He sets an example for the younger guys. When I talk about hustle, I point to Jeremy on film.”

In McGown’s place will be freshman Rashawn King from Raleigh, N.C. King went to the same high school as sophomore linebacker Matt Wimsatt, where he won two state titles in track and field as a hurdler.

King was not listed in the three-deep preseason depth chart, but rose to No.2 behind McGown during fall camp. He has seen action in one game this season — Sept.10 against Stanford. He will see significantly more playing time today.

“It’s not set in stone, nothing is set in stone,” King said. “If you had heard Coach Green [Wednesday], I might be gone tomorrow. … My family is coming and I’m excited. I just don’t want to mess up.”

While Air Force continues to employ the same option system it has for more than two decades with Fisher DeBerry at the helm, this Falcon squad likes to throw the ball.

Buoyed by a pair of quarterbacks with the ability to throw in sophomore Shaun Carney and senior Adam Fitch and talented 6-foot-4 receiver Jason Brown, Air Force is averaging 171 passing yards per contest.

Navy (1-2) knows of Carney’s ability after he completed 12 consecutive passes against them in the second half last season. Green said Brown, who has 22 catches for 432 yards in five games, is one of the best wideouts they’ve faced.

“It’s real important [to stay back],” King said. “Otherwise, Coach Green is going to get me. We’ve seen them make some big plays on big teams like Utah. We’ve got to respect the pass.”

King will not be the only first-time starter in the secondary. Green moved sophomore Keenan Little from safety to corner and inserted sophomore Dell Robinson onto the first unit in practice this week. Robinson has struggled with injuries during his brief time in Annapolis, but he is healthy and has come on in practice in recent weeks.

Little would be the third right corner in four games. Sophomore Greg Suddereth replaced freshman Greg Thrasher last week, but Suddereth missed a couple of open-field tackles. Thrasher missed Maryland tailback Lance Ball on the critical fourth-down play in the season opener.

The Midshipmen defense is allowing more than 28 points a game, and has yielded too many long drives.

“This is a huge test for us,” Green said. “It’s important to not give up big plays. We’ve got to start up front and not let them establish the running game.”

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