Virginia Coach George Welsh offered no excuses for today's debacle against Maryland. He did not mince words on a dreary, drizzly afternoon at Scott Stadium in which some of the 20,002 fans left as early as the end of the first quarter.
"They're too good for us," Welsh said. "It's that simple. They made us look bad."
When he finished the question-and-answer session, standing on an air-conditioning unit not far from the open window of the Maryland dressing room, Welsh made a request of Doug Elgin, Virginia's sports information director.
"Let's change the venue for this," Welsh said. If it was distressing to watch Maryland destroy his Cavaliers, it was also annoying to hear the winners' Amen Chorus, followed by chants of "Aloha" as they joined a hula dancer in celebrating their Dec. 25 Aloha Bowl date in Honolulu.
Virginia never has played in a bowl game. Welsh came here with hopes of changing that, although games like this must make him wonder at the enormity of the task.
"Maryland, Clemson and North Carolina were all too good for us," Welsh said. "Those teams are way ahead of us. They're all comparable to the Notre Dame and Michigan teams we played at Navy, except maybe the exceptional Notre Dame teams that won the national championship.
"I think we need more quickness on this team. We have a big problem on defense. I've been displeased with our tackling all year."
Asked how long it would take him to catch up with the big teams, Welsh said, managing a smile, "One year, I hope."
Three early plays set the pattern for what became a glorious day for Maryland, and another reason for Virginia to look ahead to basketball.
The Cavaliers, receiving the kickoff, came to third and two at their 28. Maryland stopped fullback Derek Jenkins short of a first down.
Then, on Maryland's third scrimmage play, Willie Joyner hit the middle of the line. He bounced back, circled to his right and, finding no Virginia defenders, ran 42 yards for the game's first score.
On Virginia's first play after the ensuing kickoff, quarterback Gordie Whitehead slipped after taking the snap and lost four yards. It was a mishap that had occurred four times the previous week against North Carolina.
In the first period, Virginia did not manage a first down and gained only 20 yards rushing and seven passing, on one completion in three tries, with one intercepted.
Maryland had 115 yards on the ground and 73 on seven completions in eight attempts during the period. It was 21-0 in less than 10 minutes and it would have been 28 before period's end except that a Maryland touchdown was canceled by a holding penalty.
It became 38-0 in the third quarter before Welsh replaced Whitehead with Wayne Schuchts, who threw to flanker Henry Johnson for 43 yards on his first play. In his first two series, Schuchts brought the Cavaliers to two touchdowns and prompted Maryland Coach Bobby Ross to return his regulars to duty.
Only when asked about his reluctance to use Schuchts did Welsh get testy.
"We did what we thought we had to do to win," Welsh said. "Whitehead practiced better and that's why he started. I won't say any more about the quarterback situation."
While Maryland looked forward to the Thanksgiving break and a trip to Hawaii, Virginia faced a Sunday practice session in preparation for its nationally televised Thanksgiving night game against Virginia Tech at Blacksburg, already termed Ted Turner's Turkey.
For a final blow, as the game finished in near darkness, Virginia fans were told, "Because of construction in Alumni Hall, there will be no open house today."
After paying $10 to sit in the rain and watch the rout, old Cavaliers had to buy their own beer to cry in.