After he watched his team lose to North Carolina, 27-14, Saturday to drop to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and leave little hope of an ACC title or a bowl bid, Maryland Coach Joe Krivak talked of his hopes for the remaining three games.

"Just to survive," he said. "Finish and play the last three games."

A day later, he wasn't much more enthusiastic.

"You just go on to the next game, try to regroup, and get the kids you think are playing hard and want to win and go with them," Krivak said yesterday. "That's all you can do, it's the only alternative. It's hard to do, difficult to do, but you've got to do it. You've just got to pick up from the start. That's what life is about and that's what this game is about. Some people can do that and others can't."

Navy Coach Elliot Uzelac will see what he can do in the aftermath of his team's 56-13 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame at South Bend, Ind. Whatever that is, it will be done with a limp. Uzelac, who was rolled into while standing along the sideline Saturday, was told yesterday that he has a torn ligament and torn cartilage in his right knee. Uzelac is walking with the aid of a brace, but said he has no plans to undergo surgery.

As for Maryland, the loss to North Carolina severely crippled its chances for the league title. Inconsistency, again, was the Terrapins' undoing.

"Will it turn around and everything become glorious?" Krivak said. "I would be very surprised if that would happen. A lot of what we're doing is lack of concentration, lack of effort. In some cases, we're just not good enough. If it hasn't changed by now, I don't look for any miraculous cure."

Against Penn State in Baltimore on Saturday, Krivak said he again will start redshirt sophomore Neil O'Donnell at quarterback. O'Donnell made his first collegiate start against the Tar Heels, replacing Dan Henning, who had started the previous 18 games. O'Donnell was 15 of 23 for 241 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. At the beginning of the fourth quarter with North Carolina ahead, 20-7, Krivak put Henning in the game in hopes of generating some punch. Henning completed eight of 12 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Like O'Donnell, he was sacked four times.

"We'll go back like we were," Krivak said next week's starter. "{O'Donnell's} going to be the guy. When I looked at the film, he didn't play well, but he's the best guy for what we've got to do in the next three weeks."

After Penn State, Maryland plays at Clemson (Nov. 14) and at Vanderbilt (Nov. 21) to conclude the season.

Asked if his personnel decisions were going to be made with next season in mind, Krivak said, "As far as I'm concerned you don't {play for next year.} We'll keep playing the kids who give us the best effort and we'll play the best kids we have. We're trying to win yet this season."

The Midshipmen, having only accomplished that feat once in eight games this fall, will do the same, according to Uzelac.

During one stretch from late in the first quarter to early in the third, Notre Dame's offense held the ball for a total of just 6:47, during which time it ran 22 plays, gained 305 yards and scored 35 points.

"I'm sorry we played this way, but we did and it was bad," Uzelac said. "But I'm more mad than sorry, I'll tell you that."

In defense of Navy's defense, which allowed 630 total yards, 406 of those rushing, it was without six players who have either started or played a considerable amount. Whether any of them, or running back Chuck Smith (sprained knee), will be well enough to play in Navy's game this week at home against No. 8 Syracuse (8-0) remains to be seen. Whatever the case, Uzelac is guaranteed to be among the limping.

"I was watching the play and the next thing I know, I'm down. It was stupid," he said. "I was watching the flow of the play, I picked up something and didn't even see it coming."

Jeff Hathaway, Maryland's assistant athletic director for fiscal and administrative affairs, will be moving out of that position, and he's helping to look for his successor.

Hathaway, who had been ticket manager, moved to his present position in May 1986, when Frank Grey retired. Dick Dull, then the athletic director, asked Hathaway to serve on an interim basis. After Dull resigned, acting athletic director Chuck Sturtz decided that the new athletic director should make the appointment. Athletic Director Lew Perkins is now doing that, with Hathaway on the search committee.

"If the question is 'Am I interested?', the answer is 'No,' " Hathaway said. "I strongly advised Lew to get an excellent budget type of person. The vital thing is not to have someone with 20 years of athletic experience, but to have someone with tremendous financial and, particularly, budgetary experience."

Hathaway said the two possibilities for him involved returning to the ticket office or to another position in the department.

"I'm not out on the street," said Hathaway, who added that he thought he was in Perkins' plans for the future. "My indications are that he is happy with my performance and he has not done anything to indicate otherwise."