- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2006

Navy coach Paul Johnson likes to say the previous game never looks as good or as bad on film as it appeared live.

He maintained that way of thinking during the postgame press conference Saturday after Rutgers authored a 34-0 beating of the Midshipmen, the program’s worst Homecoming loss in nearly 40 years.

A day later, Johnson found few positives after watching the film.

“There were some things that weren’t as bad, but we didn’t play very well,” Johnson said. “We didn’t block anybody, whether it was up front or on the perimeter.”

Starting quarterback Brian Hampton left the game with a dislocated left knee and will have an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage. Johnson said it was encouraging that there wasn’t as much fluid and swelling in Hampton’s knee as expected.

But the Midshipmen have to move forward without their senior quarterback. Navy has this weekend off, giving the Mids two weeks to prepare for a tussle with No. 10 Notre Dame at M&T; Bank Stadium.

“It will be tough living with this for the next couple of weeks, but we have a chance to get some other people healthy,” junior fullback Adam Ballard said. “We’ll have a couple weeks to work on Notre Dame, and we probably need a couple weeks to work on Notre Dame.”

A sophomore quarterback will make his first career start for the Mids (5-2) when they face the Fighting Irish (5-1) in Baltimore. It will either be Hawaii native Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada or Jarrod Bryant of Hoover, Ala.

Kaheaku-Enhada replaced Hampton and finished with 11 yards on 22 carries. He also completed two of six passes for 28 yards, narrowly missing slotback Reggie Campbell on what could have been a 77-yard touchdown pass. He directed nine drives before Bryant replaced him in the fourth quarter.

Bryant rushed three times for 5 yards and completed two of 10 passes for 20 yards. He hit wideout Jason Tomlinson for a 20-yard gain that was called back because of a penalty; receivers dropped two other passes.

“They did OK. They struggled at times, but we didn’t give them any support,” Johnson said. “They were running for their life most of the time.”

When Navy’s updated depth chart was released yesterday, the quarterbacks’ names were listed together with an “OR” separating them. Kaheaku-Enhada is a flashier runner, while Bryant is probably the better passer.

“There’s probably not a big difference between them,” Johnson said. “We are going to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win. It doesn’t matter if one can throw or run better than the other if we don’t protect or catch the ball. They can do different things.

“We’re going to do what we do. These guys know what we’re going to do, and we’ve got to give them a chance.”

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