Three minidramas were played out here today, none of them significant enough to bump North Carolina's thorough 17-3 beating of Maryland from center stage, but each interesting in its own right.
One concerned a dispute between Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne and UNC Coach Dick Crum over an undisclosed incident prior to the game.
The second concerned late hits and alleged late hits. Several resulted in penalties, several resulted in angry words being exchanged among players and coaches on both teams and all produced frustration, anger and a couple of near-fights.
Finally, there was the frustration of the Maryland defense, which was on the field more than two-thirds of the game, including 53 of the 67 snaps in the first half.
As the game's dying minutes were played out and the Maryland offense struggled in vain to get the ball into the offense, members of the Terps' defensive unit lined the sidelines, trying to exhort their teammates.
When quarterback Mike Tice was buried by five Carolina players at the UNC eight on fourth and three with 3:41 left in the game, one defensive player cried, "Just once can't you guys do your job?"
By the time they reached the locker room, tempers had cooled somewhat. "We lost as a team," said defensive guard Marlin Van Horn. "Offense, defense, everyone, we lost."
But, Van Horn admitted, it was difficult having to turn around and go right back on the field three times after making big plays when the Terps fumbled right back.
"It's the hardest thing to do in football," he said. "You think you've done your job for a while and the next thing you know you're back out there. It isn't that bad physically, but it's awfully tough mentally."
"You go from here," said Mike Corvino, holding his hand way over his head, "to here," moving his hand below his waist. "On the first one (Charlie Wysocki's first fumble) I had a cup of water in my hands and all at once I was thinking, 'We can score now, get a jump, put the pressure on them.' Next thing I know their guys are jumping around and their offense is on the field."
Still, the defense came back time and again to frustrate the Tar Heels. UNC's touchdown drives were 35 and 30 yards.
Both units, offense and defense, were upset by what they thought were late hits in the fourth quarter. "I'll only say I was upset when one of our players was called for a late hit," said Claiborne, who pulled John Kreider aside and lectured him after the linebacker was called for a late hit. "There's no place in football for that kind of thing."
"It was starting to get a little out of hand," said UNC's Lawrence Taylor, called for hitting Tice out of bounds. "I thought Tice was still in bounds but I was looking for a good hit because I thought they'd taken a cheap shot at (Steve) Streater the play before. I really thought a couple of times there would be a fight."
No fights, but many less-than-friendly conversations. The last one was between Crum and Claiborne at midfield at game's end. The two men argued for several minutes, then shook hands. "A friendly disagreement," Crum said. There was no explanation given for the argument, though it involved a dispute that arose prior to the game.
Three Maryland players left the game with injuries. Defensive end Pete Glamp twisted a knee severely in the second quarter and will be examined by team doctor Stanford Lavine Tuesday.Linebacker Joe Wilkins had bruised ribs and a hyper-extended elbow and fullback Jeff Rodenberger has a pinched nerve in his neck.