Navy at Tulsa
Shooting for 3-0: Navy is off to its first 2-0 start since 1996. The Midshipmen haven't started 3-0 since 1979, when they won their first six games and finished 7-4. Navy has started 3-0 only twice in the past 40 years -- the 1978 team won its first seven games. Tulsa, which improved from 1-11 in 2002 to 8-5 last season, the best turnaround in college football, has lost its first two games, 21-3 at Kansas and 38-21 at Oklahoma State. Going 3-0 "would be a great start, and it would be a great beginning to achieve the goals that they've set for themselves," Navy Coach Paul Johnson said. "It's not going to make the season if we win, and it's not going to kill it if we lose."
Hall of Fame Factory: Last season, Tulsa enjoyed its first winning season and bowl game since 1991 (the Golden Hurricane was wiped out, 52-10, by Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl). While the Golden Hurricane has largely been overshadowed in its state by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Tulsa has actually produced more Pro Football Hall of Famers than the Sooners and Cowboys with three inductees. Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, former coach of the Eagles and Packers, also played at Tulsa.
Changes on Special Teams: Johnson plans to shake up his special teams after mediocre performances against Duke and Northeastern. Senior Geoff Blumenfeld, who handled kickoffs, place kicking and punting in the first two games, won't punt against the Golden Hurricane. Johnson hasn't announced whether sophomore Ethan Gouge or junior Eric Shuey will punt. Blumenfeld had a net punting average of only 31.8 yards in the first two games, and he has missed both of his field goal attempts, from 40 and 26 yards.
Howard vs. Alcorn State
Braves On a Roll: Alcorn State has won seven games in a row dating from last season, including a 16-13 victory over North Carolina A&T last weekend. The Braves trailed the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions in the final minute, but Alcorn State quarterback Donald Carrie completed a 23-yard pass to Nate Hughes on fourth and 17 and senior tailback Robert Lester scored three plays later.
Hello, Again: Alcorn State and Howard haven't played since the teams' memorable 1993 meeting in the aptly named Gateway Shootout at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. That game featured quarterbacks Jay "Sky" Walker of Howard and Steve "Air" McNair of Alcorn State. McNair threw for 299 yards in the game, and the injured Walker threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns. The Bison won, 38-36, on Jason DeCuir's 19-yard field goal with 1 minute 4 seconds left, upsetting the Braves, who were ranked No. 1 in the Sheridan Black College Poll. Howard leads the series, 3-1.
Colbert Injured: Howard senior Jay Colbert, who missed all of last season after breaking his wrist in an automobile accident, is questionable to play in today's inaugural Prince George's Classic because of a leg injury. Colbert is the Bison's leading rusher with 77 yards per game, but has fumbled four times, losing three of them, in two games. Bison Coach Ray Petty said he doesn't believe Colbert's wrist is affecting his ability to secure the football. "He just needs to concentrate," Petty said. "He'll be okay."
Georgetown at Duquesne
Watching Warfield: The Hoyas' young secondary will get a stiff test from Duquesne wide receiver Michael Warfield, a senior from Bishop McNamara High School. Warfield, 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, is averaging 112.5 receiving yards per game. After catching 51 passes for 1,147 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, he was named second-team all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. "I think he's really got a chance to be drafted," Georgetown Coach Bob Benson said. "He's that good."
Put Up Your Dukes: Duquesne is coming off a stunning 31-14 loss to crosstown rival Robert Morris last weekend. Dukes quarterback Niel Loebig, who has broken nearly every school passing record, threw three interceptions in the game. Robert Morris outgained the Dukes, 442 to 307 yards, and Duquesne lost two fumbles. The loss dropped the Dukes from No. 1 to No. 4 in the Sports Network Division I-AA Top 10 Mid-Major poll.
Allan Gets Another Start: Georgetown sophomore Keith Allan will make his second start at quarterback, replacing senior Andrew Crawford. Allan started in last week's 17-6 loss to Lafayette, in which he was sacked six times and threw an interception from his end zone that the Leopards returned for a touchdown. The Hoyas gained only 132 yards of offense in the game.
-- Mark Schlabach