PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 17 -- This was what Elliot Uzelac had in mind when he brought the wishbone to Navy this year. Freshman quarterback Alton Grizzard gained 225 yards on 23 carries as the Midshipmen, who threw one pass and completed none, made 428 yards on the ground and beat Penn, 38-28, today before 16,809 at Franklin Field.

The victory was Uzelac's first as Navy head coach after five losses. It ended at 12 the longest current losing streak among Division I-A schools and the second longest in Naval Academy history.

Navy's rushing total was its best in one game since a school-record 553-yard effort in 1943 against Columbia. Grizzard's rushing total was the best by a Navy quarterback.

As he trotted off the field, Uzelac was greeted by Rear Adm. Ronald Marryott, the academy superintendent, and Capt. Howard Habermeyer, the commandant of midshipmen. Both men flashed wide grins and gave Uzelac two thumbs up. They then became a receiving line for the players as they trooped into the locker room for a spirited rendition of "Anchors Aweigh."

"I'm very happy for everyone involved," Uzelac said. "It was a big win, one we needed very badly."

"A great win," said senior offensive guard Joe Brennan. "We hadn't won a game in I don't know how long."

One year and 13 days, since Oct. 4, 1986, when the Midshipmen defeated Dartmouth, 45-0. The star of that game was Chuck Smith, who had 182 yards rushing, 28 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Today, Smith, who injured his knee last week in Navy's 23-13 loss to Air Force, wasn't even on the field.

"If you remember, I said it was good to go to the wishbone because it's not a one-man offense," Uzelac said. "It's the only offense we could have survived in without Chuck Smith. If we were in the I {formation}, we would have struggled today."

After taking a 35-7 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run by Grizzard with 4:47 to play in the third quarter, the Midshipmen did struggle.

Penn (2-3) drove 76 yards to make it 35-14 with 6:16 left in the game. One play after the kickoff, John Nobers, Navy's former No. 1 quarterback who had replaced Grizzard early in the fourth quarter, fumbled and defensive back Abe Jones recovered at Navy's 17. Thirteen seconds later it was 35-21.

Navy fielded an onside kickoff and, with Grizzard back in, set up Ted Fundoukos' 32-yard field goal with 3:18 to play.

However, two plays after Navy kicked off, Mike Waller, who started in place of Penn's leading rusher Chris Flynn (injured knee), gained 55 yards on a draw play. With 2:35 left, quarterback John Keller ran 15 yards for a touchdown that made the score 38-28.

The Quakers tried another onside kick and twice just missed recovering the ball. Sophomore Paul Bowman took over at quarterback and Navy ran out the clock.

"Maybe we didn't know what to do with a lead because we hadn't been in that position before," Uzelac said. "We just didn't play as hard at the end as we should have. But, hey, I'll take the blame for that."

Uzelac should get the credit, then, for the way the Midshipmen played at the beginning. After the loss to Air Force, during which Navy led in the fourth quarter, the Midshipmen could easily have come into today's game a little flat.

Instead, they scored in the first quarter for the first time this season, driving from the kickoff 71 yards in 11 plays for a 7-0 lead. They went 85 yards in 11 plays for a second touchdown and 59 yards in seven plays for a third.

After just 17:12, the Midshipmen had scored more points in this game than they had totaled in any other game this season and they led, 21-0.

"We were really up all week long," said Grizzard, a native of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Class AAA player of the year in '86. "I wasn't surprised that the holes were there, but I was surprised that they were there every time."

When Penn made the score 21-7 on a 13-yard run by Waller 8:03 before halftime, it seemed the Quakers might have a chance. They trailed Brown, 17-0, last week and won, 38-17.

Not this week. Navy started from its 28 and on first down, Grizzard went 33 yards. Curtis Brown picked up six yards on third and six from Penn's 24 and five on third and five from the 13. He finished the drive by going up the middle for eight yards.

"When I talked to him in my office last winter," Uzelac said, "I knew right then that I wanted him very badly. He's just got that something you want your quarterback to have. I think he's just got that winning attitude."

Running backs coach Kevin Rogers, whose recruiting territory includes Virginia, also had an idea there was something more to Grizzard than the 170 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame.

"He doesn't have the physical stature you're usually looking for," Rogers said, "but he's a great athlete. He was a tremendous shortstop and could have signed a pro baseball contract . . . One of his football teammates went to UCLA and another one went to Penn State, but his high school coach told me he felt like we got the best of the three."

Navy 14 14 7 3 38 Penn 0 7 0 21 28

N -- Grizzard 3 run (Fundoukos kick)

N -- Brown 2 run (Fundoukos kick)

N -- Grizzard 2 run (Fundoukos kick)

P -- Waller 13 run (Grass kick)

N -- Brown 8 run (Fundoukos kick)

N -- Grizzard 26 run (Fundoukos kick)

P -- Laurano 1 run (Grass kick)

P -- Brunie 6 run (Grass kick)

N -- FG Fundoukos 32

P -- Keller 15 run (Grass kick)

A -- 16,809 Navy Penn First downs 22 22 Rushes-yards 69-428 51-292 Passing yards 0 69 Return yards 21 34 Passing 0-1-0 9-16-3 Punts-average 4-40 4-32 Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 9-75 5-55 Time o

RUSHING -- Navy: Grizzard 23-225, Parker 9-65, Brown 14-58, Bradley 9-21, Sims 6-24, Bowman 4-18, Nobers 3-

PASSING -- Navy: Grizzard 0-1-0, 0 yards. Penn: Keller 9-15-2, 69; Kolbe, 0-1-1, 0.

RECEIVING -- Navy: None. Penn: Novoselsky 4-44, Sandler 1-10, Miklos 1-6, Joyce 1-5, Keys 2-4.