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Navy Preparing to Face Tim Jefferson at Quarterback

Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun has yet to name a starting quarterback for Saturday's game, but sophomore Tim Jefferson, who started the first three games before being sidelined with a sprained ankle, practiced on Monday. If Jefferson can't go, then sophomore Connor Dietz, who started in Saturday's 26-14 win over San Diego State, will start instead.

Still, the Midshipmen are preparing as if Jefferson is going to be the starter, Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. Navy is familiar with Jefferson, who was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year after recording a 5-3 record as a starter in 2008. The Midshipmen recruited Jefferson, and they faced him for three series in last year's 33-27 victory. Jefferson ran for 35 yards on six carries, completed 4 of 9 passes for 56 yards and led the Falcons to a late touchdown.

Niumatalolo said that Jefferson is similar to Western Kentucky redshirt freshman quarterback Kawaun Jakes, who caused some problems for Navy on Saturday; Jakes completed 22 of 28 passes for 276 yards.

In three starts, Jefferson has completed 17 of 26 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. He's also rushed for 57 yards on 22 carries.

"The kid's talented," Niumatalolo said of Jefferson. "He can run; he can throw the ball. ... We were very impressed with him, when he came in the last game under the circumstances. I thought he played with great composure. That was last year, early on, and he's obviously had way more games since then. He's a very good quarterback."

By Camille Powell  |  September 29, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
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