Stanford at Navy
At the Helm: Navy senior quarterback Lamar Owens was effective in his first start in a 23-20 loss to Maryland. Owens rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries and completed 5 of 11 passes for 97 yards. Owens needs to have similar success today to keep the Cardinal from focusing on junior fullback Matt Hall, who rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland. Stanford, which is opening its season under new coach Walt Harris, will start senior Trent Edwards, who started nine games last year, threw for 1,732 yards and nine touchdowns before missing the final two games because of injury. Edwards benefits from a line that returns all five starters, three of whom are entering their third year in the starting lineup.
Taking Cover: Navy Coach Paul Johnson is concerned his inexperienced secondary will have trouble matching up against Stanford's physically superior receivers: 6-foot-7 Evan Moore (39 catches, 616 yards 6 TDs), 6-2 Mark Bradford (34 catches, 482 yards, 1 TD) and 6-4 Justin McCullum (26 catches, 376 yards, 1 TD). Navy has just one starter in its secondary taller than 6 feet (rover Keenan Little is 6-2), which leaves 5-11 cornerback Jeremy McGown and 5-8 cornerback Greg Thrasher at a disadvantage.
Measuring Up: Stanford's three defensive linemen -- Gustav Rydsted, Babatunde Oshinowo and Julian Jenkins -- average 6-3 and 295 pounds. Navy's five-man offensive line, which features just one player over 270 pounds and averages 6-1 and 268 pounds, managed to lead a successful ground attack against a similarly bigger Maryland team. Stanford's rushing attack will feature first-year starting sophomore running back Eric Kimble and junior Nick Frank.
Hampton at Howard
Conference Call: Hampton has won its past eight MEAC openers; six of those have been against Howard. The Pirates have won the past eight meetings and lead the series 41-39-1.
Taylor Made: Pirates Coach Joe Taylor, who was an assistant at Howard in 1982 and the head coach in 1983, ranks fifth among active Division I-AA coaches with 171 career wins.
Georgetown at Holy Cross
One-Week Wonders: These teams were picked to finish as the bottom two in the Patriot League, but each won its season opener. Georgetown beat Bucknell in overtime, 19-16, forcing four turnovers after halftime. Meantime, in Holy Cross's 56-21 win over Sacred Heart, senior running back Steve Silva rushed for three touchdowns, threw for two and caught one.
Purple Reign: The Crusaders have won five straight in the series, including a 19-16 overtime win at Harbin Field in last year's season finale for both teams.
-- Jon Gallo and Staff Reports