Navy's football team has had two weeks to prepare for its homecoming game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with the University of Delaware (5-1).
The Blue Hens are coming off an impressive 21-20 victory last week over previously undefeated Villanova to take over first place in the Yankee Conference.
The two weeks have been a time for healing, physically and mentally, and for shoring up offensive problems.
The Mids (0-5) are somewhat encouraged after receiving a notice from Dan Woodridge, supervisor of officials for the Big East, that referee John Smith made an incorrect call against Navy in the final seconds of the Air Force game on Oct. 10, thus giving the Falcons a chance to kick the winning field goal.
But the incident still is smoldering in the hearts of the players and coaches.
After all, a win at Air Force was the first step to winning the prestigious Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and a ticket to the Liberty Bowl, which plays host to the winner of the trophy.
The Mids' last visit to the Liberty Bowl was in 1981 when Eddie Meyers and Tim Jordan nearly led them to an upset of Ohio State.
Army would have to surprise Air Force for Navy to have a chance for the trophy.
Navy is expected to rebound with the likely return of its two
hard-hitting running backs, senior Duke Ingraham and junior Billy James, and senior defensive end Robert Goodson. The whole squad is probably in its best shape since the opening game.
Tomorrow the Mids face a talented quarterback in the Blue Hens' Bill Vergantino, who last week became the school's career total offense leader with 7,492 yards. His passing effectiveness is aided by the running of All-Yankee Conference running back Daryl Brown.
Delaware is led by one of the most successful college coaches in the nation. Harold "Tubby" Raymond is 217-86 in 27 years at Delaware, where he continues to use the wing-T offense.
Navy has had two good weeks to further strengthen its new I-bone offense that was particularly effective at Air Force. With quarterback Jason Van Matre healthy, the ground attack has been emphasized at practice.
One of the bright spots is the improvement of the defense, which seemed to find itself against North Carolina. Defensive back Chad Chatlos is leading the turnaround on defense. With Notre Dame, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Rice and Army in the future, progress on defense is critical.