Smith follows a tough act at Navy; Colorado chasing first win
Perhaps no Navy player ever enjoyed a better 1-2 punch of name and game than Napoleon McCallum, who graduated as the greatest all-purpose running back in the Midshipmen's history, with 26 school records. His successor isn't doing badly, either, with some eye-catching statistics of his own. Of course, not as many people notice when your name is Chuck Smith. Still, ``Chuck Smith of Strongsville, Ohio'' has a nice football ring to it. McCallum, incidentally, hails from Milford, Ohio. Smith, a 5 ft. 10 in, 196-pound junior, was the only plebe to earn a varsity letter two years ago. Last year he alternated at fullback and helped to open holes for McCallum, an ensign now stationed in the Los Angeles area, where he spends weekends moonlighting for the National Football League's Raiders.
Nap, who came East for a Raiders-Washington Redskins game earlier this season, had a chance to attend Navy's opening victory over Virginia, in which Smith ripped off 230 yards in 40 rushing attempts. That was just one yard shy of Chuck's entire 1985 output, prompting McCallum to comment, ``He's going to make people forget Napoleon McCallum.''
That's not going to happen. McCallum, after all, is one of just three Navy players to have his number (30) retired, the others being Heisman Trophy winners Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino.
Smith may never match McCallum, but he definitely possesses tremendous talent and some of the same versatility as his predecessor at tailback. Last week against Lehigh, he tied a modern-day Navy record with four touchdowns in a 41-0 win. He rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries, caught three passes for 68 yards, and returned a kickoff 25 yards.
Smith enters Saturday's game with Dartmouth as the nation's second-leading rusher and all-purpose runner, averaging 148 yards rushing and more than 231 when receiving and kick return gains are added in. Briefly speaking
If winning the close games is a sign of a good team, Michigan definitely deserves the No. 4 tag it wears in this week's AP writers' poll. The Wolverines have sand wiched a pair of squeakers around a 31-12 breather over Oregon State. They held off Notre Dame 24-23 in the opener, and Florida State 20-18 last Saturday. Michigan has played its usual hard-nosed, conservative brand of football, using 5 ft. 7 in., 179-pound tailback Jamie Morris to spearhead the attack. Morris, the brother of Joe Morris, a star with the NFL's New York Giants, has gained 316 yards rushing so far.
Colorado can probably claim to be the best 0-4 team in the country. One of the nation's most improved teams last year, the Buffaloes stubbed their toe in the opener, losing to Colorado State 23-7, and have never fully recovered. They've lost their last three games, against Oregon, Ohio State, and Arizona, by a total of eight points. ``We're knocking on that victory door and nobody's letting us in,'' says Colorado head coach Bill McCartney. The good news is that the Buffs have a week off to regroup in preparation for the first of seven Big Eight Conference games. ``It's the season in a season,'' McCartney observes, ``and we have a chance to redeem ourselves and move forward.''
Hayden Fry has worked wonders as Iowa's coach in his eight years at the helm. He took over a perennially weak program and today guides a perennial national power that simply reloads when it loses All-America players like Chuck Long and Ronnie Harmon. Unfortunately, Iowa has also gained a reputation as a rather heavy-handed team when it plays lesser opponents. In tuning up for the real meat of their schedule, the Hawkeyes have clobbered three opponents, Iowa State, 43-7; Northern Illinois, 57-3; and Texas-El Paso, 69-7. The routs will end Saturday, though, as No. 11 Iowa gets its first real test against Michigan State.
Notre Dame is 1-2 after the first three games of the Lou Holtz era, but it's 3-for-3 when it comes to attracting network television coverage. ABC has already carried the Irish twice, CBS once, and on Saturday ABC will return to the well yet again with the Notre Dame-Alabama game. Notre Dame has won all four previous match-ups, last beating the Crimson Tide 7-0 in 1980. Alabama happens to be ranked second, though, and is determined to snap the streak before a legion of supporters in Birmingham. One footnote here is that both head coaches once guided NFL clubs in New York, Holtz the Jets and Alabama's Ray Perkins the Giants.