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Navy QBs McCoy, Fay both call signal of cooperation Backup's recent success doesn't rock Mids boat


There is no quarterback controversy at Navy -- at least not yet.

Coach Charlie Weatherbie says he has no problem choosing between sophomore Chris McCoy, who has started the first six games, and his understudy, junior Ben Fay.

"Right now, Chris is just better at what we do," said Weatherbie, who has selected McCoy to start against Villanova tomorrow despite consecutive home losses to Virginia Tech and Air Force. "Ben has accepted his role on this team, but he can give us a spark like he did last week against Air Force. And he's a team leader, even though he's a backup."

There was some speculation after McCoy struggled for a second straight week to generate a running game in Navy's 30-20 loss to Air Force that Weatherbie might bench him in favor of Fay.

With the Midshipmen trailing Air Force 17-6 early in the third quarter, Fay came in and produced a pair of touchdowns that made the final score respectable.

But Fay, who completed 14 of 23 passes for 148 yards, did not leave the Air Force game with any illusions.

"Personally, I think everybody should be frustrated not being No. 1," Fay said. "If you're satisfied with No. 2, I think you probably won't do so well when you do go in there.

"Sometimes, I do get frustrated. But I never questioned my role. I know my role on the team.

"And there is no animosity between Chris and me," Fay added. "I have a great relationship with Chris. I support him when he's in there, and he does the same for me."

Fay sat out his plebe year after his transfer from Texas Tech, and then saw limited action as a backup quarterback to Jim Kubiak last season. He came to the academy with the reputation of being a strong passer, having led Brewer High in Fort Worth to three straight district championships.

"Chris is definitely a better runner than I am," said Fay. "That's just the ability God has given us. I think we both feed off each other. . . . Chris has proved to be the better of the two. But I don't think I'm just a passing quarterback and Chris is just a running quarterback."

Weatherbie made it clear when he replaced George Chaump after last season that it is his intention to build Navy's offense around a running game. And, after spring drills, it was clear that McCoy possessed the best tools to run the Mids' triple-option offense.

McCoy proved an instant sensation in the season opener, rushing for 253 yards in the first half of Navy's 33-2 upset of Southern Methodist, including runs of 69 and 72 yards.

McCoy also rushed 144 yards on 22 carries in a 30-9 win over Duke.

But he has met with frustration the past two weeks against Virginia Tech and Air Force. The Hokies held McCoy to a yard rushing, and the Falcons limited him to 30 on six carries.

Playing from behind in all but Navy's two victories, McCoy has had little success throwing the ball, completing 29 of 67 passes for 376 yards.

Asked if rivals were stacking their defenses to stop him from breaking loose, McCoy said: "I don't know if they're doing things differently. Virginia Tech and Air Force used basic defenses. I think we just kind of surprised SMU."

McCoy says, however, that he needs to work on his passing game.

"We had receivers open the past few weeks and just didn't hit them," he said. "Maybe it's because I haven't thrown enough. I've got to get more accurate. But, basically, we still want to establish the running game. We've got to make the right reads and execute."

And Fay summed up the attitude of both QBs. "I'm not worried about starting. I just want to be part of a winning program."

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