Dobbs Will Start at QB For Navy Against N. Illinois

Navy's Ricky Dobbs, left, gets the starting nod after leading Navy's fourth-quarter comeback attempt last week against Notre Dame.
Navy's Ricky Dobbs, left, gets the starting nod after leading Navy's fourth-quarter comeback attempt last week against Notre Dame. (By Rob Carr -- Associated Press)
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sophomore quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who has played well in relief in Navy's past three games, will make his first start when the Midshipmen (6-4) travel to Northern Illinois on Nov. 25. Dobbs replaced Jarod Bryant in the third quarter against Notre Dame on Saturday, and led the Midshipmen on a fourth-quarter comeback that ultimately came up short in the 27-21 loss. Two weeks earlier, Dobbs brought Navy back from 20 points down in the fourth quarter against Temple in a 33-27 overtime win.

"There's areas [where Dobbs] definitely needs to get better," Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "But I've told him, I've told Jarod, the bottom line is he's moving the team."

Dobbs will be the third player to start at quarterback this season for Navy. Three-year starter Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. . . .

Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez said he doubts quarterback Steven Threet or running back Sam McGuffie will play against 10th-ranked Ohio State.

Rodriguez said Threet has a shoulder injury and McGuffie had a death in his family.

ยท HORSE RACING: The 2-year-old filly in the Laurel Park barn of trainer King Leatherbury that contracted equine herpesvirus was euthanized Saturday night.

The filly, a homebred named Nin, showed signs of improvement Saturday morning, attempting to stand in her stall but became "distressed and uncomfortable" later that afternoon, Leatherbury said.

"Up to then, she had not been in any pain, so we made the decision to euthanize her," Leatherbury said. "It's not tough; it's just sad. She fought on so gallantly there. She really tried to get up, but she just couldn't get up."

The barn where the filly resided is quarantined under a 21-day investigational animal hold order by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Racetrack management has simultaneously barred the movement of horses in and out of Laurel, except from the Bowie Training Center, until the hold order is lifted.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reported yesterday that the 25 other horses in Leatherbury's barn had tested negative for the highly contagious virus, which can cause upper respiratory infection and severe neurological problems.

Additionally, nasal swab samples from 31 lead ponies at the track also tested negative.

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