Virginia Coach Dick Bestwick is a breath of fresh air in the normally humdrum world of Sunday post-mortems.
Coming off an impressive 19-0 win over Virginia Military Saturday, Bestwick's team has a 2-1 record with two shutouts after three years of struggling to get off ground zero in Charlottesville.
With an Atlantic Coast Conference game coming up this week against Duke, Bestwick is ready. Asked if his players might have any trouble getting up for Duke after the Blue Devils were humiliated, 35-0, by South Carolina, Bestwick had anything but the typical coach's answer.
"I just don't believe in any of that stuff about getting up or not getting up for games," Bestwick said. "In the end if you lose either they were better than you or you made some bad mistakes at crucial times.
"If you think about it, you only play 11 times a year -- 12 if you're lucky -- and you spend 250 days minimum getting ready to play.
"I can remember when I was playing, I was always up to play a game. But I can remember after losing saying I wasn't ready to play.
"Everybody does it from the pros down to grade school. When you get your butt beat there has to be a reason. The easy answer is that you weren't up for the game. But that's not the answer."
The Cavaliers' only loss this season was at the hands of conference-favorite North Carolina State, 31-27.
Running backs Greg Taylor and Tommy Vigorito each had their second 100-yard rushing day of the season Saturday as Virginia broke a three-game losing streak against Virginia Military Institute. The Cavs hope to break a five-game streak of losses to Duke next.
Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne is smiling about his teams 3-0 record but trying to figure out what he did to cross the injury bug.
Defensive tackle Ed Gall injured a knee in the 35-14 win over Mississippi State Saturday. Although he will not be examined by doctors until today, Claiborne said, "It doesn't look too good."
Gall is the sixth Maryland starter injured (five on defense) this season. What's more, offensive tackle Phil Livingston played only part of the game Saturday because of an injured foot and is questionable for the Kentucky game Saturday.
"I've never had anything like this happen before," Claiborne admitted yesterday."But I sure am proud of the people who have gone in there and played.
"The injured players have really helped too. They've made the other players feel lucky that they're healthy and playing and I think it's made everybody play that much harder."
Claiborne suffered a nervous moment Saturday when quarterback Mike Tice came up rubbing his shoulder after throwing a block on the first play from scrimmage.
"I hit the guy really hard," Tice said, "and I felt this pain in the shoulder. I thought, 'Oh no, not again, not on the first play of the game.' But it loosened up in a few plays and I felt fine."
Tice missed part of the preseason practice because of a shoulder operation in the spring.
The win over Mississippi State was the fourth in a row for Maryland against Southeastern Conference teams, raising Claiborne's record against the SEC to 4-5-1. He now has a chance to get to .500 against alma mater Kentucky.
The ACC continues to be the surprise conference in the country. Duke's horrendous loss was the first outside the conference for the seven schools, now sporting a 12-1 record against outside opposition . . . Wake Forest is the biggest surprise, now 3-0 after a 23-20 win over East Carolina. In that one, quarterback Jay Venuto continued his brilliance with 28 of 33 completions for 334 yards. . . The Wake-N.C. State confrontation this week shapes up as a big game of undefeated teams, both 3-0. . . Clemson's 12-7 win over Georgia was its 400th in history.
Navy Coach George Welsh has to be happy with his decision to use Mike Sherlock as his starting tailback. With 156 yards in Navy's 21-10 win over Connecticut, Sherlock has 281 yards for the season . . . The Mids were so dominant up front Saturday they had 26 rushes for six yards or more. That's one way to avoid third down and long. Welsh was not thrilled with six fumbles, however: "We've just got to stop dropping the ball" he said . . . . Illinois is next, Navy's first road game of the year.
Howard, after suffering a 55-17 loss to perennial MEAC champion South Carolina State Saturday, faces perhaps a tougher opponent next week in Florida A&M, conqueror of Grambling last week. The game will be in RFK Stadium. . . Virginia Tech's 35-14 romp over William & Mary gives it a 3-0 mark for the first time since 1967. The name of the coach that year? Jerry Claiborne.
Former Clemson Coach Frank Howard ran into Jim Carlen, coach of arch-rival South Carolina at a banquet recently.
"What kind of record you think you're going to have this season, coach?" Carlen asked.
"We'll be 4-3," Howard answered.
"Aren't you forgetting some games?" Carlen asked.
"No," said Howard, "because I don't give a dang about them other games. We're going to win our fourth straight against the chickens (South Carolina) and go to our third straight Gator Bowl -- 4 and 3."
One of the biggest upsets of the week: Army 17, Stanford 13, at Stanford. . . The Chuck Fairbanks saga continues at Colorado.The Buffalos are 0-3 after losing, 13-9, to Drake -- that's right, Drake. Naturally, Fairbanks is not too pleased. "This is as low as we can possibly go in our program," said Fairbanks. . . Rough day for the bowl committees -- the nation's three top independents, Penn State, Ittsburgh and Notre Dame all lost . . . Two local players have made the traveling squad at Purdue as freshmen: Christopher Prince a 6-foot-4, 256-pound defensive tackle for Theodore Roosevelt, and Clayborn Fields, at 6-7, 270-pound product of W. T. Woodson . . . Boston College routed Villanova, 34-7, Saturday, ending the nation's longest losing streak at 13. Kansas takes over that distinction with 10 in a row after a loss to Michigan. . . Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter hit Calvin Murray with a six-yard pass that turned into an 86-yard run, the longest scoring pass in Buckeye history. The Big Ten is a 12-8 outside of the conference. . . The Challenge Bowl, played two years between the PAC 10 and first Big 10 then Big Eight allstars has been cancelled. Picture 2, Relief ace Joe Sambito, left, shares interview microphone with Astro 20-game winner Joe Niekro. AP.