The head coaches of Navy and Pitt, whose teams meet today, have vowed to atone for their poorly authored game plans of last week. However, perhaps their strategies will not match that of Wake Forest coach Chuck Mills, who hasinstructed his 14 teams "to help Maryland play lousy" as the Mids and Terps take their Xs and Os on the road.
Howard (1-3) welcomes its alumni as well as 4-1 Virginia State to a bome coming game in which Bison coach Dough Porter says, "We're looking for instant offense." All three games begin at 1:30.
In other contests today involving area teams, Georgetown is at Gallaudet, Catholic is at Duquesne, U. Of D.C. is at St. Francis (pa), Montagomery-rockville hosts Potomac State, Bowie State hosts New York Tech. Morgan State is at South Carolina State and Virginia is at Virginia Tech.
Maryland 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, must defeat a mistake-and fumble-prone Wake Forest team in order to remain within pressing distance of league-leader N.C. State, which is 3-0 going into today's game against North Carolina.
The Terps have prevailed over Wake for the last half decade, but the Deacons were touted to be much improved this year, which Mills says is exactly the reason his team has fared so badly.
"Good things were expected from this team for the first time," said Mills, "and it might have intimidated them more than it encouraged them
"We already have more turnovers (18.11 on fumbles) than we had total in either of our last two seasons. The kids aren't trying to drop it, but the ball's been laying around on the ground. We haven't had good intensity. We play like we're waiting for something good to come in the mail."
Yet, there is hope for this Wake Forest team, described by its coach as " a little mismatched" and more than a little thin beyond the 22 starters.
"Frankly," said Mills, "we have to hope Maryland plays a lousy. Maybe we can help the play poorly
This is a better idea than it sounds as The Terps, once racked as high as night in the nations, have shown themselves capable of losing any game.Their major area of vulnerability pass defense - is the on the Deacons like best to capitalize on.
Wake Forest has the ACC's top passer in Mike McGlamry, top receiver in Steve Young and best rusher in James McDougald. Look fro McGlamry to exploit his 50 per cent oftime.
"We feel we have to throw against anybody," said Mills. "With two losses, the ACC title is a goal that'as been removed. We're playing for success, for dignity. I hope our players care. If they stop caring about what they do, there could be a whole bunch of suicides in a few years.
Pitt coach Jackies Sherrill, looking back on last week's 17-17 tie with Florida, feels tha game could have been won by the Penthers had the rested his first-string players more.
"We're going to play more people against Navy." said Sherrill who is 3-1-1 in his first year as pitt's head coach. "I should have played more people against Florida and I can assure you that I will in the future,"
For his part, Welsh says he learned a lesson playing it too safe in Navy's 10-7 squeaker over Air Force."last week, the Mids' third victory in five games.
"I was probably too conservative for our offense against Air Force." said Welsh. "We'll have to throw the balls lot more to play with Pitt."
Navy quaterback Bob Leszezynski did not throw a tourchdown pass last week for the first time this season.Welsh hopes to rectify that possibly with the help of tight end Richard Cellon.
"He (Lesczynski) is looking too much to the split people, and not enough to the tight end," said Welsh. "Teams are starting to handle our wide people now so we have to get the ball to the tight end. We haven't done that since our first game.
"Getting tha ball to anyone will be a major chore against Pitts defense, described by standout right tackle Randy Hollowayas "more reckless" than the national-championship unit of last year. The secondary, in particular, is stocked with veterans, who were responsible for most of the 29 interceptions last year and 11 this year.
'This Pitt team is more aggressive that last year's national-championship team." said Welsh. "They aren't as polished and they don't have Tony Dorset to save them, so they are taking more chances. They are throwing the ball more and better this year."
Quarterback Matt Vavanaugh returned to action last week and boosted Pitt's spirits, even though the soft cast he wears on his left wrist seems to hinder him in taking the snap from center and running the option.
Howard has lost two straight games and committed eight turnovers in being shut out last Saturday by Delaware State. A shakeup could be on the way.
Porter has said he will continue to start Ronald Wilson at quarter-back but may be quicker to yank him.
"Ronald has exvellent practices but he hhas not been able to get untracked in games," said Porter.