CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Shawn Moore had never seen a University of Virginia football game, not even on television, when he came up from Martinsville, Va., to visit the campus as a college football prospect. He wasn't going to be sold on the notion that the Cavaliers were a football power; he'd have heard. They showed him their historic Grounds. The look was worth a recruiter's best thousand words.

Danny Wilmer, a soft-talking and persuasive assistant coach and recruiter, still thought he needed to give his pitch about the school's academics. "Other schools can use that against you, though," Wilmer said this week. "When it comes time for a player to decide, they'll say, 'Look, you can get your education here too.' And the kid starts thinking: 'I'm a star. I'm an artist. I've got to do my thing.' " Moore never forgot his vision of the Grounds.

The next year, 1987, another Moore, Herman Moore, came along. He actually is an artist who's been drawing and painting since he was 13, growing up in Danville, Va. Like Shawn, Herman took to Jefferson's academical village and more than made the grade there -- just as both have done nearby at Scott Stadium, where they're just getting to the honors courses.

Shawn, the quarterback, is a hot Heisman Trophy candidate in his final season. Herman, the wide receiver, already is a big pro prospect even though, like Shawn, he was held out of football as a freshman and so will have another season of eligibility left after this one. As for this season, there's never been one to match it here.

"We could still be 4-7," George Welsh said this week after the Cavaliers' fourth victory without a loss, 59-0 over Duke. And the sun, the Virginia coach might have added, may not come up tomorrow.

Preparing for William and Mary here Saturday, the Cavaliers have outscored their opponents by 194-31 (including 52-0 in the first quarter and 110-7 in the first half). Shawn Moore has passed for 11 touchdowns and run for four; the 6-foot-5, high-leaping Herman Moore ("no relation to Shawn" has become his name's suffix) has caught six touchdown passes. The Moore-to-Moore combination has stirred Virginia's football archivists to blow the dust from their records.

A victory Saturday would give Virginia its first 5-0 start since 1949. The school's only Heisman candidate was "Bullet Bill" Dudley, who played in 1939-41. This is the first season since 1894 that Virginia has scored more than 50 points three times. That's 1894!

To watch them play, you'd think the Moores were inseparable if not related. "It's really wild -- people think Shawn and Herman hang out a lot together," said offensive tackle Ray Roberts, 6-6, 305 pounds. "After practice, they go their separate ways."

They have different roommates, different academic interests. (With A's in two courses over the summer, Shawn Moore received his degree as a psychology major, and now is enrolled in the graduate school of education; in the spring, out of football season, Herman concentrates on his art.) But they've been here long enough, practiced often enough, to complement one another on the field like no other Virginia players have. And they bring a maturity and confidence that sets the tone; Roberts says the players' attitude this season, especially since beating Clemson for the first time in 30 tries, is "believing" they're going to win games, not just "hoping" to. The Quarterback

A threat to run as well as pass, Shawn Moore has been making whatever he does look easy. It's a feeling that can come with a veteran team.

"This is the type of year when I want to have fun even on the field," he said, seated behind the desk of the publicist touting him for the Heisman. "With so many experienced guys on the offense, it's enabled us to go out and have a loose huddle, have a good time, enjoy what we're doing. We want to be loose, but still have enough intensity to put points on the board.

"None of the attention we're getting right now really has fazed me. But I think years from now, when I have grandkids, I can look back and say, 'This was a team with a lot of guys who wanted to have fun and did well.' "

Moore seems able to keep his perspective even as his fame grows. The Virginia sports information office has budgeted $12,000 for the Heisman campaign, which has included a mailing of 1,400 copies of a four-page flyer on his feats. When President Bush held an education summit here, he told his audience: "Imagine this: You have the president, the governors and the cabinet all here on campus, and still the big man on campus . . . Shawn Moore."

"He's a humble kid," assistant coach Wilmer said. "He'll say to me: 'Coach, when are you going to get your own team? Maybe I can be your quarterbacks coach.' Like he didn't have a future as a player."

"He's the type of quarterback everybody loves -- he always remains cool," said wide receiver Derek Dooley, son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. The young Dooley, Moore and center Trevor Ryals share a three-bedroom duplex.

When Moore says, "Things have kind of worked out," he means in several ways. "I met my girlfriend my freshman year." He graduated with a 2.5 grade-point average. "I was intimidated at first by the academic reputation of the school. But all that changed within the first two years. I realized I was able to do well and maybe even graduate in four years." In football, he did what he couldn't have dreamed. Or did he?

His mother, Sarah, told Roanoke reporter Doug Doughty earlier this year, "I'm sure Shawn doesn't remember this but when he was much younger, he told me once it was his dream to win the Heisman Trophy."

Sarah, a nurse, and Shawn's father, Harold, who attended Winston-Salem State, encouraged their son to pursue his studies. Taking his cue from them, Wilmer stressed academics until the day he visited the Moore home and Sarah, sitting back, relaxed, knowing the recruiting marathon was over, said to Shawn, "Well, tell him."

"This was the only school that really stressed academics," Moore said the other day. "Other schools that I visited, everyone was saying how good a quarterback I could be in their system. No one said how good a student could I be in their school."

Football has been his gravy. Now Virginia's sports information office puts little reminders in their mail that Moore compares favorably to his chief Heisman competiton. Example: Moore "ranks second in the nation this week in passing efficiency, ahead of Bringham Young's Ty Detmer."

Even Welsh on occasion has sounded like a Moore campaigner: "Some things he's done, not many quarterbacks in the country have done. I mean the running and passing and winning. If we were in the run-and-shoot or any other offense, he would still be our quarterback. If we wanted to be BYU, he could do it."

But Welsh won't keep Moore in the Cavaliers' lopsided victories to let him pad his accomplishments: "I'm not going to get caught up in the rankings to embarrass somebody and get Shawn Moore some more statistics. That's not the way the game was meant to be played. It's wasn't meant to be played for polls or individual awards. It should be played to win. That's all."

Moore hasn't played in the fourth quarter of three games this season, and didn't throw a pass in the fourth period of the Clemson game.

Moore's attitude is: He isn't worried about personal statistics, he isn't worried about the pro football draft -- what round he'll be taken, what team will take him. "It's going to be fun to see," he said.

He wants to be a pro, and as a quarterback. At 6-2, 215 pounds, he believes he can be a successful pro-type quarterback. He can, and does, throw passes from the pocket. But he insists it's not his be-all and end-all to succeed in the pros. "If I don't, I'll be content. I'll go on with my life."

The Wide Receiver

Herman Moore, a big-play man (he averages a touchdown every 4.3 catches), could be among the top two or three receivers in college. As such, he easily could give up his senior year here to turn pro and make big money. He has an orderly plan for making his decision.

"It depends on academics," he said. He's a major in rhetoric and communication studies. "Am I going to be in position to graduate? If I am, that increases the chances. I'm also going to meet with {wide receivers coach} Tom Sherman and Coach Welsh to see if they feel I'd be ready. I want an honest opinion and I believe they're going to be honest about it."

Moore keeps getting better. He always had the hands for pass-catching artistry. He can block. He's improved his speed by running with the track team. He's playing as confidently as any on an offense that usually takes only three minutes or less on a scoring drive.

"Every time we get the ball we want to score," Roberts said.

With the Moores, it's been possible. The Combo

"Things I see on the field, I try to help him," Shawn said. "Things he can see that I can't see, he helps me. We've been assets to each other."

Both Moores have large followings of family members attending their games. But Shawn Moore said that the finest weekend his parents have had -- "better than coming to all the football games," as much as they love the games -- was when they drove up to graduation last spring and saw their son on The Lawn walking with his class in cap and gown.