Late Saturday, the happy and victorious Maryland Terrapins were returning to campus to find the greeting of their lives. Students were hanging out of the windows of Ellicott Hall, waiting to start a campus-wide party in College Park to celebrate a 31-24 victory at North Carolina earlier in the day.
"No one seemed to care before, but now they're starting to care," tight end John Tice, a fifth-year senior, said.
The Terrapins and Coach Bobby Ross allowed themselves one more day to reflect on Saturday's upset, which is likely to move them into the top 20 when this week's wire service rankings are released.
Most of the immediate congratulations went to tailback Willie Joyner, who scored two touchdowns and set a school record by rushing 240 yards. But the key to his running success was the offensive line, Tice in particular.
Carolina, expecting the Terrapins to pass more often, played with four and five defensive backs much of the afternoon, directly benefiting Tice.
"Instead of a 240-pound defensive end over me, there was a 180-pound cornerback," Tice said. "That was supposed to be the strong point of their defense because they have more people on that side. But it was really a weakness, because they were smaller. Good plays and good formations kind of hung them up a bit."
Maryland's celebration will be short. Miami, ranked No. 16, is due in town Saturday and defending national champion Clemson the next week.
Notre Dame will go into Saturday's game against top-ranked Pittsburgh with a long history of beating No. 1 teams. But unless there is a decided turnabout on offense, it will take a lot of help from the leprechauns and that powerful defensive unit for the Irish to pull this one off.
Of the 27-10 Irish victory over Navy, fullback Larry Moriarty said, "It's a boost, but it's not like everybody's jumping for joy. That offensive performance isn't going to beat Pitt."
The losing Midshipmen were not especially impressed with the Irish, either, although this was Navy's 19th straight loss to Notre Dame.
"They're just another football team," insisted split end Bill Cebak, who scored the Navy touchdown. "The media builds up this horror, but we weren't intimidated. We had a few tough breaks offensively and our timing was a little off. But Notre Dame is having problems offensively just as we are."
Cebak's remarks were made in the presence of Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust, who told the midshipman, "Good, say what you think."
Then Faust echoed what the others had said: "We have to improve a lot by next week when we play the No. 1 team, Pitt."
For the third straight week, Dr. Jay Cox's Sunday sick call at Annapolis was crowded.
Defensive end Travis Wallington, one of Navy's cocaptains and a key inspirational force, will miss the rest of the season as well as scheduled all-star play; X-rays showed his right arm was broken.
Chris Davis, another defensive end, suffered torn knee ligaments, making three players lost at that position in two weeks. Chuck Bresnahan required knee surgery Oct. 24.
Cornerback Jon Ross is doubtful for Saturday's game at Syracuse because of an aggravated separation of the joint connecting the breastbone and collarbone.
Center Dennis McCall is expected to be fully recovered by Saturday from a sprained ankle, but there is doubt about the status of middle guard George Herlong, who twisted an ankle on the final play against Notre Dame.
At Virginia, the injury report was somewhat brighter after Saturday's 37-6 victory over VMI. Although quarterback Mike Eck underwent surgery yesterday for a dislocated thumb, it appeared that quarterback Wayne Schuchts (sore ribs) probably would play Saturday at Georgia Tech.
On college football's late, late show Saturday, undefeated Arizona State took over the Pac-10 lead with a 17-10 victory over Southern California. The Sun Devils do not play the conference's other unbeaten team, once-tied UCLA, which will travel to Washington Saturday.