For running backs Tom Vigorito and Greg Taylor, a lot will be on the line Saturday when their Virginia football team invades Byrd Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. Atlantic Coast Conference game against Maryland.

The Cavaliers can break a seven-year losing streak to the Terrapins, improve their best record since 1952 to 7-4 and keep alive their slim hopes for a bowl berth.

And $1 is up for grabs.

"We have a little bet on the side each game," said Vigorito, a 5-foot 10, 195-pound junior from Wayne, N.J., who has averaged six yards per carry and scored six touchdowns.

"Whoever scores the first touchdown owes the other guy $1. Right now, it's even, five to five, so this game will be the deciding factor."

Vigorito and Taylor, a 5-9, 181-pound junior from Richmond, can become only the second backfield pair in ACC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards each in the same season. Taylor, who has averaged 5.8 yards a carry, leads Virginia in scoring with nine touchdowns.

"We have like a rivalry, more of a competition. I don't have any ill feelings when he does good and I think he doesn't have ill feelings when I do good," Vigorito said.

"Saturday, I need 36 yards and Greg 117. So as soon as I get mine, I'm going to let him carry the ball and do as much as I can to help him."

Should either back score, look for an end-zone celebration -- provided, of course, the Cavaliers are leading at the time.

"We were watching highlights of the Pittsburgh-Dallas Super Bowl game and we saw Lynn Swann do this hand-slapping dance so we picked up on it and decided to do it when we score," Taylor said.

"I think everybody likes it," said Vigorito. "The only time we do it is when we're winning and one of us scores. It serves as motivation. It gives the whole team a good feeling."

Winning has also given Virginia a good feeling.

"No one expected us to be a winner," Taylor said. "People are looking up to the football players. We get treated a lot nicer around school. People recognize us a lot more in public. It's a nice feeling.

"When I first came here, there was no respect at all. Teams didn't have to get up to beat us. They knew we would lose the game somehow, some way. But now we know we can win any game we play."

According to Vigorito, Virginia gained its confidence against North Carolina State, a game the Cavaliers lost, 31-27.

"We really showed we could win the way we turned it around against State. We were down, 24-7, and came back and scored three times on them. That showed signs of a winner."

"I'm not foolish enough to say we're going out and win every game next year -- in fact, I'm not sure what our schedule is -- but from year to year we should be consistent to win seven or eight games, unless we don't work hard during the offseason," Vigorito added.

The two junior backs complement each other on the field.

"We're basically the same type of runner. I block for him and he blocks for me. It's pretty hard for the defense to key on one of us when we're both on the field," Vigorito said.

"In the huddle, we're side by side," noted Taylor. "We're always talking about things that help each other."

And Saturday?

"To have a winning season is great, but this year wouldn't be complete if we didn't try to win every game. Even if we don't get a bowl bid, we're going into the Maryland game wanting to win it. Having not won for so long (since 1971 against the Terps), you want to win as many as you can," Vigorito said.

"It's a good feeling to be able to go home and walk the streets," Taylor said. "In the past, you really couldn't say what happened. People don't want to hear excuses. They only want to hear the successful things and finally we're able to do that."