There is still enough time left to make a difference and Maryland football coach Joe Krivak is worried about wasting it.

"Last evening I didn't sleep very well," Krivak said yesterday at his weekly news conference. "I was thinking about a lot of things. Did we miss anything? Their personnel, our personnel. It's a whole conglomeration of things running through my mind."

Krivak's first Maryland team will open the 1987 season Saturday night against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y. Besides being his first game as a college head coach, the contest will be at his alma mater.

"I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few butterflies," Krivak said. "It's showtime, time to play and put it all together.

"I thought we were doing pretty well through a scrimmage early last week. They seem to have gotten tired since that period. Now that we're in one-a-day practices, hopefully we can get our legs back."

Two-a-day practices ended last Thursday. Most of the rest of the students returned to campus over the weekend, and students have spent the early part of this week registering for classes and getting settled for the start of the semester. All are normal aspects of going to college, but they also can prove to be a distraction from football. In the week before the season opener, that would tend to worry any coach, even one that is generally relaxed about such things.

"It's a combination," Krivak said. "If I had an answer, I'd be sleeping better."

Monday's practice was not the best, and Krivak spent almost 15 minutes talking to the players when it was over.

"Coach was a little upset," senior wide receiver Azizuddin Abdur-Ra'oof said. "The players were not quite as concerned as he was, but we knew knew we had to pick it up.

"When you get through two-a-days . . . I don't want to say you get lackadasical, but maybe in the back of your mind, you take off a bit. I don't think it was the older guys. But some of the younger guys didn't go out with the same zest. Today {yesterday} we picked it up though."

"There was a bit of lull, but I think we picked it up today," senior tackle John Sorna said. "We're seeing other things for the first time in two weeks."

Classes don't start until today, so discussions on campus often entail party plans.

"With school starting and people getting back, you need to put shutters on your eyes," senior linebacker Ritchie Petitbon said. "You hear about parties and things going on, and the concentration slips. Once the season starts and we get into the routine, you can concentrate real well. But you have to keep your eye on the goal or you'll be in real trouble."

Defensive coordinator Greg Williams said, "I think it's getting out of two-a-days. I think I did a better job today. I would have been worried if we went out there today and fooled around, but I think the next two days will be fine. But after 20 years, you realize you still have two days left and they are just kids."

Krivak, who was on the 1956 Syracuse team that played in the Cotton Bowl, graduated in 1957. He then was an assistant coach there under Ben Schwartzwalder from 1969 through 1973.

"I've heard from a lot of people who I never thought would be able to come," Krivak said of old college friends. "It's sort of like a stage play. It's a good thing we're going out of town to open."

Though Krivak is perpetual motion on the practice field, he does not come off as a hyperactive sort of fellow. Sleeplessness has happened before but isn't a normal occurrance.

"Generally, I've been able to relax," Krivak said of what Friday night might be like. "I'm pretty much a pattern kind of guy."

Krivak knows his pattern and tries to stick with it. Helmet-rattling speeches about winning for love of school and country don't seem to be his style.

"I'm not the type to try to fire people up," Krivak said. "It has to be spontaneous and say things that come naturally. You shouldn't try to be a fiery type of person, if that's not what you are naturally, because people see that and lose respect. There are times I loose my cool and do yell. But coaching is a lot like raising kids. If you scream and yell all the time, eventually they're going to tune you out."

Krivak said that redshirt sophomore Dennis Spinelli probably would start at fullback Saturday. Spinelli and redshirt junior Keith Bullock have been neck-and-neck through the preseason in battling for the job. Bullock suffered a slight pull in his left hamstring on Monday, but said yesterday that he thought he would be able to play Saturday . . . Senior wide receiver John Bonato will field punts for the Terrapins. He will also see considerable action on offense, especially now that James Milling will miss the game with a broken finger . . .

Sophomore Arnold Walker, who sat out last season because of Proposition 48, will be the main kickoff returner and will probably see a lot of action at tailback. He and freshman Mike Beasley will probably substitute for Bren Lowery through the course of the game.