It is not enough that Washington has the advantage in size, skill and depth for Saturday's football game against Navy in Seattle. The 18th-ranked Huskies also have a psychological edge.
Washington, 2-1, was routed, 40-14, by Louisiana State last week and also has disquieting memories of 1980, when Navy went to Seattle and earned a 24-10 victory over a Washington team that wound up in the Rose Bowl.
"They've got two barrels to shoot at us," Navy Coach Gary Tranquill said today. "They're coming back from that fiasco last week and they're aware of the upset in 1980. From our standpoint, we'd better be ready to play and capable of winning like we did in 1980."
"The players have responded and seem more concerned about last week than we were," Washington Coach Don James said by telephone from Seattle. "As for 1980, I don't say a lot to the team about things like that until later in the week.
"Right now, we're working on the game plan. We get more into the mental part when we have time to sit around and wait. But we always remind them of that kind of thing every week--that if you don't play well, any team is able to take you apart."
George Welsh, the former Navy coach now at Virginia, considered the victory over Washington to be the outstanding effort by the Midshipmen in his nine-year tenure here. Certainly, a similar success this week would give Tranquill a big lift in what thus far has been an undistinguished 1-2 season.
What must Navy do to win, Tranquill was asked at his weekly press conference.
"We have to do what we haven't been doing, develop offensive consistency," Tranquill replied. "When the defense turns the ball over to us, we have to score points."
Tranquill is pleased with the progress shown by junior quarterback Rick Williamson, but he feels Williamson must do a better job of picking up his secondary receivers if Navy is to finalize the drives that have been bogging down.
"The biggest problem Rick has had, and one that plagues young quarterbacks, is they're going to stay on the primary receiver too long when something else is available," Tranquill said.
To add to Tranquill's problems, place-kicker Todd Solomon suffered a bruised knee on his kicking leg in practice Tuesday and will be out about a month. That leaves Steve Young, who has alternated with Solomon, in the No. 1 role.
"It was one of those things that drives a coach crazy," Tranquill said. "I wasn't satisfied with the kicking, so I did it live and the thing you always fear happened. A defensive player was blocked and bumped and leg-whipped him after he kicked the ball."