Joe Krivak stood before his charges yesterday at Byrd Stadium, waving his hands, giving instructions, moving players to and fro as if walking them through one of his intricate pass plays. It was only the team picture, but, when it's your first as the head coach, having things just right takes on a little more meaning.

When everything was just so, he squeezed in between co-captains Bob Arnold and Bill Hughes. No one said "cheese," but with the flutter of a few shutters Krivak and his 1987 Maryland squad were officially christened and are ready to begin two-a-day practices today in preparation for a season that will begin in three weeks.

"We have the ingredients to be good and I think we're going to be good," Krivak said at a news conference. "How many games are we going to win? I don't know. Hell, if I knew that I'd write a book and be off in Acapulco or playing golf somewhere. I don't know what our record is going to be, but I think we're going to be good and I'll be disappointed if we're not good."

Good would certainly seem to involve a couple of more victories than the five (in a 5-5-1 record) of last season, after which Bobby Ross left for Georgia Tech and Krivak moved from the back row in the team picture to front and center.

"A guy told me George Welsh {Virginia coach} said that it's like a guy taking over his father's business, and that's basically the way I feel," said Krivak, 52, who had been an assistant at Maryland for five years. "I feel comfortable with the situation. I feel comfortable with the staff and the players. And most importantly, I feel comfortable about myself. Tomorrow's the first practice. We're just going to try and play like hell."

Athletic Director Lew Perkins expressed his support for Krivak by saying: "I believe our football program will come back to national prominence. I think it's time for us to put the last 12 to 15 months aside and look at the future of Maryland athletics and I feel very confident about that."

The freshmen completed four days of early practice on Wednesday. Krivak, who has 18 red-shirt seniors, said a couple of the freshmen might be able to help this year, although many will be red-shirted.

"We're not trying to hang our hats on any freshmen," he said, "but based on three or four days I think we have a better class than people gave us credit for having. Down the road, a lot of those kids will play for us."

The Terrapins have nine starters back on offense and six on defense. The entire offensive line is back and there are more talented receivers than starting positions. And quarterback Dan Henning returns for his last season.

What's lacking is experience at running back. Bren Lowery, a red-shirt sophomore from Alexandria, has the most: 59 carries in 10 games last year for 317 yards.

Junior Michael Anderson, who was diagnosed this summer as having leukemia, posed with the rest of the team yesterday, but he is questionable for this season. Sophomore Arnold Walker, who missed last season because of Proposition 48, is now eligible and will try to challenge Lowery for the tailback spot.

The fullback will likely come from the group that includes Dennis Spinelli, Keith Bullock and Jack Bradford.

The defense will switch from the wide-tackle-six, which used just three defensive backs, to 3-4, which uses four in the secondary. Krivak said he feels "comfortable" with the group up front and "good" about the linebackers. The secondary is where the questions lie. Only strong safety J.B. Brown returns.

"They run well and they're athletes; there's no two ways about that," Krivak said. "It will be a good secondary . . .

"If I can't get it together in three weeks, then I probably can't get it together," Krivak said, laughing. "It's not like I've been selling insurance for the last 30 years."