Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne said today his team, "just wasn't ready to play football," against Kentucky Saturday and that resulted in the 14-7 loss to the Wildcats.

After looking at films of the game this morning, Claiborne said, "We found a lot of things wrong. We didn't make the big plays. Different guys made mistakes at different times.

"Sometimes the line didn't block well. Other times they blocked well and our backs didn't use the holes. Sometimes Mike (Tice) threw poorly, other times he threw well and the ball was dropped."

Claiborne said he thought Charlie Wysocki, the nation's leading rusher entering the game, "didn't run behind his interference well. Charlie slipped a few times (the turf was wet from two days of rain) but other times he just didn't get in the holes that were there."

As for Tice -- 10 of 29 for 104 yards -- Claiborne expressed mixed feelings. "Mike's getting better each week," he said. "But he still isn't setting up as well as we want him to and he's not reading well. He still needs work setting up in his pocket and getting rid of the ball quickly."

During the game, Claiborne elected to go for a one-point conversion instead of two when the Terps scored with 5:06 left to play. Since Maryland would have needed at least one two-point conversion at that point in order to win the game, why didn't Claiborne try for two the first chance he got?

"I never considered going for two," Claiborne said. "If we miss, it's 14-6 and the best we can do is tie. We had momentum and I wanted to keep it. I thought the team would feel better mentally trailing, 14-7, knowing we could win with a score than if we missed and could only tie. It was psychological."

If the Terps had scored in the final minute, Claiborne said he definitely would have gone for a two-point conversion. "We already had the play called," he said.

Claiborne also said he was so concerned with his team's lackadaisical attitude during the week that he considered scrimmaging during practice but abandoned the idea largely because of the team's many injuries.

"We tried to talk to them to convince them not to take things easily but it didn't work. The team wasn't prepared to play and that's the fault of the coaches. All of us."

The Kentucky football press guide contains brief personal sketches of each player. Some consensus opinions: Mork and Mindy is TV's best show, Johnny Carson the best entertainer and Midnight Express the best movie. Each player was also asked his biggest thrill. Chris jacobs a junior safety answered: "Playing lacrosse I ran through the entire team and scored into the wrong goal."

After disposing of The Citadel and Connecticut, Navy passed its first real test with a 13-12 road victory over Illinois with a typically strong defensive effort and a 119-yard rushing performance by Steve Callahan.

"It was a nice win for us," said Navy Coach George Welsh. "We're playing with confidence. It was our first good team. It was a test for us, we came out of it fine. We did the little things we had to do to win."

Among those little things were defensive gems by Charlie Meyers, who blocked the conversion kick after Illinois' first touchdown and intercepted a two-point conversion pass try after their second score.

Howard lost its second straight game to bring its record to 2-2, but new Bison Coach Floyd Keith saw some good signs.

"No way I'm happy with losses, but we're a better football team now," he said.

"We played two pretty good football teams. (South Carolina State and top-ranked Division I-AAA team Florida A & M, which beat Howard Saturday, 21-13, at RFK Stadium).

"I was real proud of our team," Keith said. "We played pretty darn well. We hung in there and played them down to the wire. Our kids played with a lot of heart."

Keith was especially pleased with the play of freshmen defenders Doug Jones, Jimmy Diggs, Courtney Brown, Bobby Sowell and Harold Gilky.

Virginia and Wake Forest, the patsies of the ACC for so many years, served further notice Saturday that those days are over.

The Cavaliers, who entered the game 10th in the nation in rushing, routed Duke, 30-12,with Greg Taylor and Tommy Vigorito rushing for more than 100 yards each for the second week in a row. Each now has three 100-yard games in four outings for the Cavs, 3-1 and 1-1 in the ACC.

Wake Forest saw its three-game winning streak broken by conference favorite North Carolina State, 17-14, but not before the Deacons scared the Wolfpack. Wake quarterback Jay Venuto, who was listed as a second-stringer after spring practice, was brilliant again for Coach John Mackovic, completing 21 of 35 passes for 203 yards.

The win was State's seventh in a row since a 19-10 loss to Penn State last November.

For the third week in a row Nebraska started horribly, dropping behind Penn State, 14-0, before coming back to manhandle the Nittany Lions, 42-17. The game marked the third in a row in which the Cornhuskers fell behind, 14-0, before rallying to win . . . Southern California and Alabama each won its 12th straight game Saturday, the nation's longest winning streaks . . . Michigan State had its 10-game streak broken by Notre Dame . . . Kansas ended its 10-game losing streak with a 37-18 win over North Texas State.

One of the nation's biggest surprises has to be Syracuse. After a 28-8 season-opening loss, the Orangemen have demolished their last three opponents -- West Virginia, Northwestern and Washington State -- and scored 141 points in the process . . . Maryland's loss to Kentucky dropped the ACC's record outside the conference to 13-2. North Carolina won the only other nonconference game of the week, 41-3 over Army. Amos Lawrence had 209 yards rushing in that game, marking the 12th time in 25 college games he has rushed for more than 100 yards . . . State and Carolina now are the ACC's only undefeated teams. Six of the seven conference teams have winning records. Duke, 1-2, is the only loser.

Florida State's 17-10 win over Virginia Tech marked the seventh time in seven tries that FSU Coach Bobby Bowden has beaten VPI -- five times at West Virginia and twice at FSU. Southern Cal's Charles White had 185 yards on 31 carries in his team's come-from-behind 17-12 win over LSU Saturday night.