Jan Carinci, Maryland's injured senior wingback, climbed the stairs to the locker room after yesterday's 7-3 victory over Villanova and shouted, "Hey, we won, how about that?" He was answered by total silence from his teammates.
"It's not anything to write home about, but at least it's a win," Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne said. The silent, starting faces in the Villanova dressing room emphasized that it was, to be sure, even more distressing to be a loser in this steamy, not-so-dreamy opener by Byrd Stadium.
Villanova fumbled the opening kickoff, Maryland drove 20 yards in five plays to score and it would have saved everyone considerable anguish if they had stopped the procedings then and run under the sprinklers instead.
Mike Tice, the Terrapin senior quarterback, departed with cramps in both calves after fumbling the ball away on his own 22 in the fourth quarter. He completed only four of 14 passes and overthrew his brother, John, who was unguarded in scoring territory late in the first period but inexplicably slowed down.
Kicker Dale Castro, who booted 16 straight field goals at the start of the 1979 season, reinjured a groin muscle in the warmups. He played anyway, missed two three-point tries and had a punt blocked.
Defensive guard Marlin Van Horn reinjured an ankle and hobbled off the field late in the third quarter.
A member of the Terrapin band collapsed in the heat -- it was 94 degrees at game time -- and was taken away in an ambulance.
Through it all, junior tailback Charlie Wysocki remained a man apart, rambling for 177 yards in 36 carries, scoring that lone touchdown and providing what little incentive there was to cheer the proceedings.
"Yards rushing means nothing if we don't get the ball in the end zone," Wysocki said. "We wanted to get more than one score. But the defense held in there and did a super job and we won the game. That's what counts. We weren't satisfied with what we did. We are grateful to come out with a win."
Saddest of the losing Wildcats was David Martin, first to touch the football this season and first to fumble it. Sam Johnson, a senior defensive back out of Arundel High, blitzed Martin at the Villanova 23 and sophomore Howard Eubanks caught the ball in the air at the 26 and returned to the 20.
Wysocki ripped off five yards and Mike Tice four before the Terrapins lost their concentration for the first of many occasions. Guard Brian Riendeau moved early, and suddenly it was third and six. Wysocki, however, took Tice's pitchout and ground up nine yards, to the seven. Tice kept around right end to the one and Wysocki covered the final yard.
The only other score in the game came on a 36-yard field goal by Villandova's Chuck Bushbeck with 1:48 remaining in the first half. The Wildcatrs had possession in Maryland territory five times in the second half, but proved even more inept offensively than the Terrapins.
A holding penalty foiled the Wildcats in the third period after Tim Kane's block of a Castro punt gave them possession of the Maryland 19. Bushbeck eventually was wide on a 37-yard attempt.
Dean DiValerio recovered a Jeff Rodenberger fumble at the Maryland 30 three plays later, but Villanova's Pat O'Brien -- a five-for-15 passer -- threw one to Maryland's Pete Glamp on third down.
Tice, blasted by middle guard Joe Lucas, lost the ball at his 22 in the fourth period and Villanova's Randy Crofton was awarded possession, although the ruling was disputed by angry Terrapins.
On third and two from the Maryland 14, O'Brien pitched to his left to Mike Gold, who had considerable running room. Gold dropped the ball and Brad Senft controlled it for Maryland.
"I pulled it out of the fullbacks stomach and the ball was soaked," O'Brien said offering Bold an alibi.
"I looked up because I thought Pat was going to fumble it; then he came around and pitched it," Gold said. "It may have been hard to handle, but it touched my hand and playing the wishbone, if you can touch it you have to catch it."
Claiborne caught it from the fans a few minutes later, as boos greeted the arrival of the punting team on fourth and inches at the Villanova 41. Unintimidated, the Terrapins kicked it away and gave the Wildcats one last scoring opportunity.
Although starting from its own 10, Villanova could have pulled if off. On second and one at the 31, with Maryland expecting a first-down plunge, the Wildcats chose to go for a winner. On second and one at the 31, with Maryland expecting a first-down plunge, the Wildcats chose to go for a winner.
Halfback Shawn Passman was a full five yards behind Terrapin safety Ralph Lary at the Maryland 45, but O'Brien was unable to hit him.
"It was close, so close," O'Brien said. It would have been a new twist for Villanova to pull out a victory at that stage. On their last three visits to Byrd, the Wildcats had led at halftime, only to fade, last year in the final minute.
"I told the kids about that at the half," Villanova Coach Dick Bedesem, said "I told them it was an omen to be behind. I was sure we could pull it out."
"if Villanova plays everybody like they played us, they'll win some football games," said Claiborne, whose Terrapins managed only three first downs in the second half. "We didn't have contunuity offensively, we lacked consistency in our passing game, we fumbled three times and we had a blocked punt.
"On a lot oc clutch plays, we either got penalties or dropped a pass.I can't say we played a great game."