Maryland Coach Joe Krivak was singing the school fight song yesterday after his football team survived five turnovers and a late surge by Virginia to claim a 21-19 victory in front of 35,550 at Byrd Stadium.

The triumph was the first for the first-year head coach, and his players made him sing. "No, he can't sing, but who can?" asked wide receiver Azizuddin Abdur-Ra'oof, who caught five passes for 85 yards and one touchdown.

"I don't have a great voice," Krivak said with a smile, tinged with a look of relief, "but I do like to sing in the shower."

The Terrapins would have been singing the blues if this game had ended in a tie, and that was a distinct possibility until the Cavaliers missed a two-point conversion late in the game.

After leading, 14-7, at halftime, Maryland was ahead by 21-13 when Virginia took over on its 43 with 5:05 left to play. With redshirt freshman quarterback Shawn Moore at the helm, the Cavaliers moved downfield with time running out. On third and goal from the 5, Moore rolled out of a collapsing pocket and scored to cut the lead to 21-19 with 1:18 left.

Virginia went for two to tie, but tailback Marcus Wilson dropped the pitchout from Moore, and the Terrapins were safe. For 0-2 Virginia, which never led and hasn't beaten Maryland since 1971, a tie might have held some consolation. For Maryland (1-1, 1-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference), it would have seemed like a defeat.

"I take a tie like a loss," Ra'oof said. "When you're up and have opportunities to win, it would have been a little disappointing. Actually, it would have been a lot disappointing."

The Cavaliers (0-1 in the ACC) will remember the third quarter as their downfall. Because of Maryland turnovers, the Cavaliers started their first three drives of the second half at the Maryland 35, 34 and 31. Yet, they got only two Mark Inderlied field goals. Their next drive ended with an interception by linebacker O'Brien Alston.

"It seemed like every time I looked up we had the ball in their territory or thereabouts," Coach George Welsh said. "To take it away from them and only end up with a couple of field goals makes it hard to win."

Welsh again used Moore and starter Scott Secules at quarterback. Moore was in the game for both Virginia touchdowns, but "Secules is still the starter and Moore is still the backup," Welsh said.

The major difference for Maryland this week was an offensive line that moved people. The result was a balanced attack that gained 150 yards rushing and 182 passing.

"We came off the ball pretty hard," said right guard Dave Amend. "We practiced with a higher intensity. We said we wanted to come off the ball and get some creases and cracks so the backs could run. And I thought we protected {quarterback} Dan {Henning} real well." Though he was pressured several times, Henning was not sacked. Last week, he went down five times.

The other key component was the secondary. Burned several times in last week's loss to Syracuse, the unit gave up only one big play yesterday,an excellent catch by Virginia's John Ford for a 35-yard touchdown.

Maryland scored on its first possession, marching 95 yards. The drive featured three completions to Ra'oof, and seven carries by Bren Lowery (27 carries, 94 yards). The last was a six-yard run through a huge hole on a counter play, followed by a Dan Plocki conversion, for a 7-0 lead with 7:42 left in the first quarter.

After Plocki missed a 39-yard field goal, Virginia went 78 yards in 10 plays. The big one was Ford's leaping grab in the end zone to tie the game, 7-7, with 3:17 left in the first half.

But Maryland came right back. Henning, who completed 15 of 26 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, hit tight end Ferrell Edmunds for 20 yards to the Virginia 31. Henning hit Edmunds at the 2, and as the clock wound down, Maryland scrambled to set up. With 14 seconds left, Henning lofted a pass into the end zone and Ra'oof outjumped Keith McMeans for the touchdown.

There was a bit of controversy on the play because Maryland tight end Blaine Rose, who was coming out of the game, was still three steps from the sideline when the ball was snapped. The referees offered no comment after the game.

"I was told he was on the field," Welsh said. "If he's on the field they should call it. It happened to us twice last year."

McMeans intercepted Henning on Maryland's second drive of the third quarter, setting up Inderlied's 24-yard field goal, which cut the Maryland lead to 14-10. Maryland fumbled on the second play of its next possession, but again Virginia could only manage a field goal by Inderlied, this one from 31 yards, to cut the deficit to 14-13 with 6:59 left in the third period.

Maryland's winning points came on the ensuing possession. The drive had several big plays: Ra'oof jumping over Tony Covington for a 38-yard reception, and two excellent catches by Edmunds. It also had several other vital plays, including Clarence Jones hustling to recover a Lowery fumble following a nine-yard completion and Edmunds' excellent block on Virginia's Sean Scott, allowing Lowery to score on a five-yard touchdown run. That gave Maryland a 21-13 lead with 2:51 left in the third.

After that the Maryland defense just tried to hold on. That they came close to letting a win slip away didn't seem to matter. After all, a year ago today Maryland last won in Byrd Stadium, beating Vanderbilt in the second game of the 1986 season.