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Navy Obliterates West Virginia, 51-7, as Staubach Shines

Sept. 21, 1963 - Roger Staubach of Navy, expected by many to send the enemy fleeing for life rafts this season, turned in a devastating demolition job against West Virginia today in the football season opener for both teams. A record crowd of 35,000 fans turned out at Mountaineer Field for the start of the Mountaineers’ centennial football season and sat in stunned disbelief as Staubach directed the Middies to a 24-0 lead at haltime, and his understudies, Norm Radtke and Bruce Abel, added to the onslaught in the second half. By the time the firing was over, the Midshipmen had a 51-7 triumph nailed to their mast. It was West Virginia’s worst defeat since Maryland administered a 54-7 pasting in 1951. The one-sidedness of the margin provided the big surprise since the Mountaineers had figured to keep the issue reasonably close. To the capacity crowd in Morgantown, it became evident early that Roger and his mates were at their firing stations for one purpose — to end all doubt as to their mastery as quickly as possible. In the thick of Navy’s first-half spree was Staubach. The sharp-shooting 193-pound junior from Cincinnati, who was primarily responsible for sinking Army last year, kept finding targets for his thrusts with amazing regularity. Removed a few minutes after the intermission, Staubach emerged with 17 completions in 22 tries for 171 yards. Even on defense, Navy was superb. West Virginia was scoreless until the last 23 seconds. This was Navy’s fifth victory in six encounters with West Virginia, which scored its only triumph back in 1917. It was the worst opening-day defeat for West Virginia since way back in 1893, when Washington and Jefferson scored a 58-0 victory.


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