CHARLOTTESVILLE, NOV. 17 -- Joe and Jeannie Krivak took a long, surprisingly peaceful walk around town Friday night. They circled the hotel at which the Maryland football team was staying and strolled past a nearby shopping mall. "We just kind of enjoyed the weather; it was such a beautiful night," Jeannie Krivak said today.

Not once, said the wife of the Terrapins' beleaguered coach, did the two discuss the possibility that this afternoon's game against Virginia might be the last of his Maryland tenure. That was the forbidden subject, although neither needed to say so.

"His mood was very good, it really was," she said. "He was very upbeat. He said he wanted to keep everything in focus, just focus on the game. After that, everything else would take care of itself."

The scene around her as she spoke proved emphatically that her husband had been right. It was about a half-hour after the Terrapins' stirring 35-30 upset of the eighth-ranked Cavaliers, and the ecstasy had spilled over from the Maryland locker room into the runway toward the bus that would provide a raucous ride home.

There were well-wishers everywhere, with hugs and kisses and slaps on the back for both Joe and Jeannie. There were cheers and handshakes for anyone dressed in red and white. There was Athletic Director Andy Geiger exhorting each Terrapins player who entered the locker room, then pronouncing that he had seen "everything that you could want from your football program," including "excellent coaching."

There was a trying-to-be-placid Joe Krivak reflecting on Maryland's 6-5 record and saying "We're winners," and there were Terrapins players muttering something about bowl game possibilities as they ran past Jeannie Krivak, usually offering a hug and words of congratulations and support.

Joe Krivak is just 18-25-1 as Maryland's coach, and he and Geiger still will meet Monday to begin discussing Krivak's future. But this emotional day ended with Terrapins players and coaches beaming with pride and a sense of accomplishment that Krivak said "we'll have with us forever."

He said thoughts of his coaching future will not surface until Monday. "If I don't feel good now, I'll never feel good," he said. "This is not the time for that stuff.

"Right now I just want to ride home with my wife on the bus. I'll go to church {Sunday}, have a cup of coffee, read the paper. . . . I'm going to relax and enjoy myself. It has been a long season."

It was made longer, of course, by the constant speculation about whether his contract would be renewed.

"He was basically the same as always," Jeannie Krivak said. "He was probably distracted {the past two weeks}. . . . But he said he wanted to stay focused on the season, and that's pretty much what he did.

"Joe is the kind of guy who always believes that, whatever happens, it happens for the best. He's just not a selfish guy."