Midshipmen Notebook

Navy's Marcus Curry Makes First Two Receptions Count

By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Marcus Curry's first two collegiate catches were memorable ones. Late in the third quarter of Navy's 31-27 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, the sophomore slot back caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs. Then, in the fourth quarter, he and Dobbs connected on an 85-yard score. Not bad for someone who was feeling a little jittery at the start of the game.

"For me personally, that was the first time I really played," said Curry, who appeared in seven games as a freshman but didn't record a carry or a catch. "Coming into the Horseshoe with all those fans, on that first series I was just like, 'Do I still know what to do?' [I was] looking around, a little nervous. When it got to the second half, I was just dialed in."

Curry wasn't the only offensive skill player who was getting his first extended playing time. The Midshipmen had first-time starters at wide receiver (juniors Greg Jones and Mike Schupp), and fullback (sophomore Alexander Teich). Schupp, who entered the game with one career reception, made three catches for 23 yards, including two that resulted in first downs. Teich, who came in with career totals of 24 yards on seven carries, gained 61 yards on 13 carries against Ohio State.

"We have some skill kids that people haven't seen, but we're very excited about them," Coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

But Curry made the biggest impression. He was one of the standouts of spring practice but missed much of the preseason -- including the first two scrimmages -- after being briefly hospitalized with an illness. He worked hard to get back into football shape, and had enough energy to blow by the Buckeyes' defense on his 85-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was the third longest passing play in school history.

"The way the guy was covering me, he was playing man-to-man, and he was playing more on the outside. I knew I was going to run a vertical," Curry said. "So all I had to do was make a move like I was going to go out, and then continue running straight. As soon as I made that move, Ricky put it right on the money and I was able to catch it. I had enough gas to get to the end zone. I was dying."

Good Numbers for Dobbs

Dobbs, who was making his second career start at quarterback, completed 9 of 13 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns against the Buckeyes. It was the most productive passing game by a Navy quarterback since Oct. 10, 2007, when Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 9-for-12 passing in a 48-45 double overtime win at Pittsburgh. . . .

Junior Joe Buckley got the nod at place kicker and converted all three extra-point attempts he attempted, the first of his career. Buckley, who competed for the job with sophomore Jon Teague in the preseason, did not attempt a field goal. . . . Freshman Gee Gee Greene returned six kickoffs for 101 yards.

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