- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 27, 2001

Navy's football team still is searching for its first win. Toledo wants to bounce back from its first loss.
These two story lines combine to place the Midshipmen in an unenviable position for tonight's matchup with the Rockets at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio. Any chance of Toledo looking past Navy was removed after Ball State dropped the Rockets 24-20 last Saturday, ruining their chance at a perfect season. Toledo needs to win its remaining four games and the Mid-American Conference championship to have a chance at a bowl berth.
Navy (0-6) has lost its last three games by an average of less than seven points, and coach Charlie Weatherbie blames the defeats on his team's slow starts. Last year in Annapolis, Navy jumped to a 14-0 lead over Toledo but fell 35-14. Don't expect Navy to catch Toledo (5-1), ranked 23rd in last week's AP poll, sleeping this week.
Weatherbie favors trick plays when he feels they are appropriate. but all the trickery in the world won't help the Mids' defense, which ranks last out of 115 Division I-A teams in halting the run. This does not bode well for defensive coordinator Rick Lantz's unit, which has struggled to find a playmaker or run stuffer all season.
The Mids' defense will see the toughest running back it has faced all year in Chester Taylor, the nation's leading scorer, and a quarterback who likes to get in open space and make plays through the air and on the ground. In last year's game, Taylor ran for 112 yards and quarterback Tavares Bolden for 91.
"He can avoid you and buy some time to throw the football," Weatherbie said of Bolden. "He runs bootleg, waggle, as well as drop back. If I were to say what is their offense about, it's about Chester Taylor and Bolden. It's a heck of a combination back there."
Taylor, who was banged up last week and rushed only for 25 yards on 18 carries, has 15 touchdowns this season, while Navy as a team has only 12. Coach Tom Amstutz said Taylor is getting over the nicks and expects his workhorse to be 100 percent tonight.
Navy's running game, though, is anything but 100 percent healthy. Starting fullback Bryce McDonald has a broken right hand and sprained left ankle and backup Raheem Lambert a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. Both are out tonight. Marlon Terrell has played well in recent weeks, including 79 rushing yards last week against Rutgers, and will start tonight. Expect Rashad Jamal to see some time at fullback as well. Even with a somewhat depleted backfield, Navy still will want to set the pace at the line of scrimmage.
Since quarterback Brian Madden's return four games ago, the Mids basically have dropped their flexbone set. Most of the plays are run from a tight wishbone formation, the offense used by the Mids the past six years under Weatherbie. There are some spread formations, with shotgun and four or five wide receiver sets, but the Mids' passing is still minimal. Navy ranks 105th in passing offense and prefers to run Madden out of shotgun sets rather than throw the ball downfield.
"Their offense is scoring a lot, which is making opponents' offenses throw the ball a little bit more to try to catch up," Weatherbie said. "We have to got to be able to rush the football to be successful."

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