Inspired, discouraged, challenged and, finally, elated. That's how the Maryland Terrapins felt yesterday during their 25-20 victory over West Virginia before 40,125 at Byrd Stadium.

They were inspired by the presence of junior running back Mike Anderson, who played for the first time since he was diagnosed as having leukemia. Anderson returned one punt for 11 yards and carried twice for six yards. More than the yardage, it was his presence that contributed to a flood of adrenaline that carried Maryland past a 14-0 deficit accumulated in the first 30 seconds.

When he finished saying how "it felt good just to get hit again," Anderson embraced Coach Joe Krivak. Anderson smiled. Krivak's eyes got watery behind his glasses.

"Before we came out on the field today we talked about commitment to each other," Krivak said. "We talked about the third game of the season, that we'd have a pretty good idea of what kind of football team we'd be. {It's now 2-1.}

"And we talked a little bit about the dedication, courage and commitment that the young man who just left here made to get back on the football field. We dedicated that game and the football to Mike Anderson. You talk about courage, dealing with adversity, anxiety and frustration. You and I don't have any, any, any idea what that's all about. That young man did, and I can't tell you how proud I am of him to be back on the field and in uniform to play for us today."

The Terrapins were discouraged by an amazing start to the game: West Virginia led, 14-0, before it had run a play from scrimmage. Eugene Napoleon took the opening kickoff and raced 94 yards for a 7-0 lead. "A special teams coach's nightmare," said Jeff Mann, who coaches Maryland's special teams.

Receiving again, Maryland started at its 19-yard line. On the first play, Dan Henning threw to running back Bren Lowery on the right side. The pass was high, but catchable, but it bounced off Lowery's hands into the hands of Mountaineers linebacker Robert Pickett. He returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

"Normally, we do that," said West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen, whose team (1-2) had six turnovers yesterday and has 17 this season.

"It was a little discouraging," Henning said. "But I came to the sideline and everybody was still up."

And as nose guard Bob Arnold said, "If you worry about it, it could be a total disaster."

The offense was challenged because it had to make up the deficit and the defense had to turn up the intensity a notch, so as not to get further behind.

"Actually," said linebacker Sean Scott, "you have to turn it up a couple notches." And the defense did just that, giving up no big plays and holding West Virginia to six points in the final 59 1/2 minutes.

The offense mixed the run and pass effectively. Lowery carried 19 times for 72 yards and a touchdown, and caught seven passes for 32 yards and another score. Fullback Dennis Spinelli carried 19 times and gained 57 yards, with one touchdown.

Early on, Henning tried to throw deep and, although the long passes didn't result in any big plays, they helped set up the patterns underneath that would yield yardage in the second half. Henning was 10 for 22 for 74 yards with one interception in the first half, but was 12 for 15 for 142 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the second.

For the first time, the Terrapins displayed their one-back offense, designed to get more receivers in the game. But Krivak was also convinced that West Virginia had watched Maryland practice because of the way the Mountaineers adjusted to some of his team's formations and fakes.

"I'm sure they skunked us," Krivak said.

Maryland got a 39-yard field goal from Dan Plocki on its third drive of the first quarter, and following a Richie Petitbon interception, Spinelli capped a 34-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. That cut the West Virginia lead to 14-10 with 2:28 left in the quarter. The score remained that way at half as the Maryland defense forced three consecutive turnovers.

Maryland used the first seven minutes of the third quarter to get a 37-yard field goal from Plocki to cut it to 14-13. Maryland then went 48 yards in 10 plays -- all but one involved Spinelli or Lowery touching the ball -- with Lowery catching a three-yard touchdown pass for a 19-14 lead with 2:17 left in the quarter. Lowery was stopped on the try for two points.

West Virginia wasn't done. Anthony Brown, who rushed for 168 yards (63 percent of West Virginia's offense), scored on a four-yard run. So, after failing in the try for two points, West Virginia was ahead, 20-19, with 8:48 left in the game.

Maryland came right back for the winning points. Henning completed three passes over the middle, underneath the zone to get Maryland to its own 47. Then he saw it.

"I was waiting for them to play that defense at least once," Henning said of the coverage that had the usually double-covered Ferrell Edmunds one-on-one with a safety. Henning audibled at the line and hit the big tight end down the middle for a 36-yard gain. Two plays later, Lowery ran wide left, got great blocks from Edmunds and Spinelli, and scored from 13 yards for a 25-20 lead.

"I feel fortunate to be coaching a group of young men that very easily could've folded the tent and given up after the first two scores," Krivak said. "But when you looked along the sidelines they were encouraging each other. That's what this game is all about . . . That's why some of us old fools continue to work in this business for so long. Experiencing the elation I felt up there in that locker room with those 100-some people . . . there isn't a feeling in the world that can match it."

W. Virginia 14 0 0 6 20 Maryland 10 0 9 6 25

WV -- Napoleon 94 kickoff return (Baumann kick)

WV -- Pickett 26 interception return (Baumann kick)

M -- FG Plocki 39

M -- Spinelli 1 run (Plocki kick)

M -- FG Plocki 37

M -- Lowery 3 pass from Henning (run failed)

WV -- Brown 4 run (pass failed)

M -- Lowery 13 run (pass failed)

A -- 40,125 W. Virginia Maryland First downs 16 22 Rushes-yards 47-242 47-141 Passing yards 42 216 Return yards 50 53 Passing 5-14-3 22-37-1 Punts-average 5-37 6-40 Fumbles-lost 3-3 1-0 Penalties-yards 6-70 6-52 Time

RUSHING -- W. Virginia: Brown 25-168, Johnson 5-19, Harris 9-16, Basil 3-10, Timko 3-9, Taylor 2-4. Marylan

PASSING -- W. Virginia: Harris 3-10-26-2, Timko 2-4-16, 1 yards. Maryland: Henning 22-37-216, 1.

RECEIVING -- W. Virginia, Tally 3-29, Winn 2-13. Maryland: Lowery 7-32, Joines 4-55, Abdur-Ra'oof 4-30, Edm