Coach Bobby Ross offered some final observations yesterday on last week's 23-7 opening loss to Syracuse, most of which centered around Maryland's effort to get a whole lot better before Saturday's home game against Vanderbilt.

"Maryland football is still alive," Ross said at his weekly luncheon, "and it'll get better before it gets worse, I'll promise you that. You don't like to lose, you never want to lose. But you hate to lose and look bad. And we looked bad offensively, to be quite honest, and it's my fault. I did not anticipate the mistakes in the offense that occurred."

Ross was referring to the five turnovers committed by the offense, which was thought to be the team's strong point. Ross said he felt that the defense, which has several inexperienced linemen, played well enough for the Terrapins to win.

"We're going to get a lot better," Ross said. "There are 10 football games left, and by God, we're capable of winning every one of them. We still feel the talent base is very good. They're young, but they've played, so that's over. They're veterans now. We've got to go on from there, and we intend to do that."

Ross was pleased with the play of offensive linemen Kevin Glover and Len Lynch and reserve tackle J.D. Maarleveld, but added, "We've got to have better control of the line of scrimmage at the point of attack. There's going to be a lot of basic work for the people across the front. (We need) more pop at the point of attack."

Part of Ross' plan for the team's self-improvement is not to be concerned with Vanderbilt, which beat Kansas State in its season opener last week. "I want them to look at themselves and concentrate on what they have to do, not Vanderbilt or this guy or what's being talked about by others . . ."

Ross indicated he generally was pleased with the effort his players demonstrated. "There were a few people, older people, that we thought would play better," he said. " . . . But they hustled their tails off."