The Miami Hurricanes, having just beaten a very good Florida State team in Tallahassee, are clearly contending for another national championship. So what are the slumping Maryland Terrapins to do when they visit the Orange Bowl Saturday night?

"You've got to play as hard as possible every time," Coach Joe Krivak said. "And I think our kids will play hard. If you don't play hard, this is the kind of team that can blow you out of the water. Miami beat Arkansas, which was 10th-ranked at the time, 51-7. That should give some evidence of their explosiveness."

Maryland was idle last week after losing, 42-14, to previously 0-3 North Carolina State. Third-ranked Miami beat the then-fourth-ranked Seminoles, 26-25, Saturday afternoon.

The time off has allowed the Terrapins to rest a bit, heal some and, the coaches hope, realize how badly they played against the Wolfpack.

Despite the week off, the Terrapins still have some injury problems. Inside linebacker Richie Petitbon, who severely sprained his ankle against N.C. State, was still on crutches yesterday and trainer J.J. Bush said there is almost no chance Petitbon can play against Miami.

Fellow inside linebacker Kevin Walker, who strained his Achilles' tendon in the loss to N.C. State, has a pretty good chance of playing. How much he can play is still uncertain. "I think Walker has a chance," defensive coordinator Greg Williams said.

The latest ankle problem belongs to outside linebacker O'Brien Alston, who twisted his right ankle on Friday and spent the weekend in a special boot. Yesterday, he watched practice while on crutches, with the ankle wrapped. Alston said he wanted to get a lot of running in today and then practice Wednesday.

The positive note was that nose guard Bob Arnold (strained knee ligaments) is back practicing.

A completely healthy Maryland team would have trouble with the Hurricanes. A 2-2 Maryland team beset by injuries and coming off a devastating loss will have more trouble.

"In terms of talent, I don't think we match up very well in certain areas," Krivak said yesterday. "But they are one of the top three teams in the country.

"I think we match up well with our skill people, but they do have an outstanding secondary. All four of them can run, they're good hitters and they break to the ball really well. "It's a question of our receivers against their secondary. And we've got to have time to throw the ball."

The Hurricanes trailed Florida State, 19-3, before Steve Walsh threw three touchdown passes. Two went to wide receiver Michael Irvin (25.8 yards per reception) for 26 and 73 yards. The other went to running back Melvin Bratton for 49 yards.

"They have a lot of big play people," Krivak said. "The amazing thing about {the Miami-Florida State game} was that Miami had the ball for about 10 less minutes and ran about 30 less plays, and still won the football game."