Navy 46, Southern Methodist 16
DENNE H. FREEMAN
Sep. 21, 1997
DALLAS (AP) _ Enrico Hunter and Rashad Smith returned interceptions for touchdowns and Chris McCoy scored twice in the second half Saturday night as Navy rolled to a 46-16 victory over Southern Methodist.
Navy (2-1) sputtered on offense in the first half but McCoy, who always has big games against SMU, scored twice on 4-yard runs to climax second-half drives of 61 and 63 yards against the Mustangs (1-2), who shocked Arkansas 31-9 last week. It was the third straight year the Middies had beaten the Mustangs, who own a 6-4 series lead.
Todd Vanderhorst kicked an 18-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to give the Middies a 19-16 lead at halftime.
Navy scored its first 16 points thanks to its defense. Hunter returned an intercepted pass 28 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter for the Midshipmen after the ball glanced off SMU's Rafiq Cooper.
The second Navy touchdown also was a gift coming after end Brad Wimmsatt fell on Ramon Flanigan's fumble at the SMU 1. Irv Dingle ran for the Navy touchdown on the next play.
The other Navy first-half points came after Chris Sanders hit Jimmy Moore with a touchdown pass for the Mustangs. Jason Coffey of Navy blocked the extra point try and Charles Fisher ran it back for two points.
SMU's other first-half points came on a 10-yard run by Donte Womack and a 29-yard field goal by Roy Rios.
The Middies took control of the game in the second half as McCoy, who had rushed for 413 yards in two previous games against SMU, scored twice and Vanderhorst kicked a 30-yard field goal. Then Sanders was victimized by Smith who stepped in front of his flat pass and returned it 25 yards for the score.
Vanderhorst finished the Navy scoring with his third field goal, a 36-yarder.
A crowd of 20,011 including Navy's 1963 Heisman Trophy winner, Roger Staubach, watched SMU's home opener in 95-degree heat in the Cotton Bowl.