Maryland and Navy go superb efforts from their defenses Saturday to keep their perfect football records intact. Another fine defensive effort helped keep Howard winless.

The Terrapins took an afternoon off from their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule to lay a 20-3 pasting on Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky, 18th-ranked coming into the game. The Middies knocked off out-classed Boston College, 1-0, for the first time in five years. Howard dropped its third game of a winess season to powerhouse Florida A&A, 28-7.

Maryland tailback Steve Atkins slashed 31 times for 153 yards, his fourth 100-yard-plus game of the season, and scored on a 16-yard run to lead the Terps to their fourth victory.

Maryland lost another potential 14 points when Kentucy stopped the Terps on the one-yard line in the first and third quarters.

"We didn't run and block as well as we had been," explained Coach Jerry Claiborne. "I declined the field goal because I felt we could have put the game away with a touchdown."

But the Terrapin defense took the edge off those thwarted bids by limiting the Wildcats to 42 yards on 36 rushes. Kentucky was held to three first downs and 56 yards in the second half, never getting closer than the 35-yard line of Maryland.

Ed Loncar booted 49 and 31-yard field goals and Don Dotter hit second-string tight end Tom Burgees with a three-yard option pass as Maryland padded its lead with 13 points in the final quarter.

Claiborne was most pleased with the coverage on kickoffs.

"That was the best part of our game," he said. "They were leading the nation in kickoff returns and our coverage stopped them completely."

The coach admitted that the 13th ranked (by UPI, 15th by the AP) Terps cannot be overconfident following the victory. Next week's foe is North Carolina State, the team that ended Maryland's 20-game ACC win streak last season.

"I told the team to enjoy the Kentucky films but forget about them after Sunday," Claibourne said. "Then we have to worry about State. There is no aspect of the team that cannot stand improvement."

Bob Tata's school record four field goals and a stingy Middie defense paced Navy to its third triumph. Tata, who did not miss, tied another Navy mark with a 48-yard field goal.

Navy's defense, ranked second among the nation's Division I-A schools, held its hosts to 92 yards and four first downs. The Eagles, whose offensive team did not cross midfield, lost four of six fumbles and had one punt blocked as Navy picked up its first victory at BC since 1962.

The Midshipmen were not much luckier offensively. Navy, which got the ball in Eagle territory seven times in the first half, at one point turned it over on three successive offensive plays.

Sophomore tight end Curt Gainer accounted for the Navy touchdown, catching a six-yard pass from Bob Leszczynski in the first quarter. Boston College capitalized on a fourth quarter fumble by Navy deep in its territory for a touchdown pass that ended Navy's string of 11 consecutive scoreless quarters.

Howard offered Florida A&M little resistance as the Rattlers extended their NCAA-leading winning streak to 15. FAMU scored 21 points in the first quarter, and held Howard to 60 yards in the opening half.

The Rattlers twice stopped Bison drives inside the FAMU 30. Brian Thomas finally put Howard on the scoreboard with a 38-yard bomb to Steve Wilson in the third quarter.

Elsewhere, Rick Bashore passed 32 yards for one touchdown and ran one yard for another as 18th-ranked UCLA defeated Minnesota, 17-3. Arizona State scored three touchdowns in the first half en route to a 27-0 pasting of Texas-El Paso. Jim Krohn's two touchdown passes paced Arizona to a 23-3 victory over Iowa.

New Mexico State's David Spriggs completed 31 of 59 passes for 536 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort against Southern Illinois, 43-39, Spriggs' effort was the fourth best yardage total in NCAA history, as was receiver Jeff Evans' 15 receptions for 310-yards.

In area games, Catholic blanked Gallaudet, 38-0; Georgetown got past Duquesne, 30-28; Bowie State knocked off Shaw (N.C.), 14-7; Virginia Military stopped Virginia, 17-9; and the University of the District of Columbia whipped St. Francis (Pa.), 27-8.

Nationally, Houston handed 10th ranked Florida State its first loss in four games with a 27-21 victory at Tallahassee. Emmett King rushed for 107 yards in the first half to stake the Cougars to a 27-0 lead. The Seminoles scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, but had an apparent fourth-quarter touchdown pass with 3:01 remaining called back because of holding.

Charles Alexander rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns and broke Bert Jones' college career total offense record, as No. 11 Louisiana State swamped Rice, 37-0.