CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As the Maryland football players filed into the locker room after another loss yesterday, few of them appeared upset. Not one trash can was overturned.
And coach Joe Krivak had to wonder whether some of them even cared.
"We folded," inside linebacker Mike Jarmolowich said. "Lack of effort. As this season has gone on, I think we have gotten worse, instead of better."
Maryland was routed for the third time this season, losing, 24-0, to North Carolina before a homecoming crowd of 50,000 at Kenan Stadium.
It was the first time Maryland had been shut out since losing to Michigan, 20-0, on Sept. 28, 1985, and the first by an Atlantic Coast Conference team since North Carolina State beat the Terps, 7-0, in 1979.
Yesterday's loss sealed the fourth losing season for the Terps (2-6 overall, 2-4 ACC), under Krivak, who has a 20-31-2 record in five seasons at Maryland.
The loss left the Terps questioning their integrity. And the doubt comes with No. 8 Penn State, No. 16 Clemson and No. 19 N.C. State left on the schedule.
"There are some guys out there who are trying and giving their best effort, and then there are some who need to learn a little more about personal pride," said senior quarterback Jim Sandwisch, who completed seven of 18 passes for 52 yards.
"We have to get it in our minds that we have three tough games left, and we just can't pack it in," said Sandwisch.
The Terps didn't fold by themselves. Give North Carolina (5-3, 2-3) some credit. The Tar Heels played smash-mouth football, taking a 21-0 halftime lead with scoring drives of 84, 86 and 80 yards.
North Carolina debuted a freshman quarterback, Jason Stanicek, feet, 171 pounds, who was consistent and showed poise by completing 12 of 19 passes for 104 yards. He threw two interceptions.
But the Tar Heels took the pressure off Stanicek with a running attack that accounted for 308 yards. North Carolina tailback Natrone Means and fullback William Henderson rushed for 101 yards each. The Tar Heels became the first team to have two 100-yard rushers against Maryland since 1987. Means had first-half touchdown runs of 6 and 8 yards.
But Krivak said he wasn't overly impressed. He was more concerned by his team's ineptness. Maryland had only 131 yards of total offense and was four of 14 on third-down conversions.
"This was about our worst performance of the year," said Krivak, whose team has lost to West Virginia, 37-7, and Georgia Tech, 34-10. "I think we missed tackles, we didn't play with too much intensity and we have got problems on offense -- we just can't move the football.
"I think that Carolina played a pretty good game, but I don't think that they were too jacked up, either," said Krivak. "I think that game was up for grabs today. We just did not want to take it. Once Carolina got on a roll, that was it."
North Carolina started to roll on its second possession. On second-and-six from the Tar Heels' 20, Maryland blitzed to the weak side, and North Carolina ran Henderson on a draw to the strong side for a 57-yard gain. Six plays and four missed tackles later, Means scored on a pitch around left end for a 7-0 lead with 3:51 left in the first quarter.
North Carolina, which converted 11 of 18 third-down plays, scored twice in the second quarter, once on an 86-yard, 15-play drive that lasted 7:33 and contained 13 running plays. Means finished the long drive with an 8-yard run off right tackle with 7:06 left in the half.
North Carolina's final score of the half came when Stanicek, faking a screen to his right, passed to wide receiver Corey Holliday on a middle screen for a 4-yard touchdown to finish an 80-yard, 12-play drive with 24 seconds remaining.
Maryland, though, still had its chances to come back, especially in the second half. On the Terps' opening drive of the third period, they went from their 20 to the North Carolina 32 using the runs of freshman halfbacks Larry Washington (Randallstown) and Raphael Wall (Columbia).
But, on second-and-seven, H-back Frank Wycheck, on an end-around, underthrew Washington down the left sideline, and the pass was intercepted by outside linebacker Eric Gash at the Tar Heels' 17.
"We were trying to make something happen," said Krivak.
"Actually our wide receiver was running a post, was open and their man tackled him. We didn't get the call."
The Terps had good field position on their next two possessions. One series started at the North Carolina 48 with 8:30 left in the third period. Sandwisch threw incomplete, Washington lost 2 yards on a run, and Gene Thomas dropped a 13-yard pass from Sandwisch that would have given the Terps a first down.
On its next possession, Maryland took control at its 49. The Terps ended up with a fourth-and-16 at their 47.
Time to punt again.
The Terps never got inside the North Carolina 30, and the Tar Heels blitzed Sandwisch on almost every passing situation. Maryland had eight first downs, compared with 24 for North Carolina.
"Those failed possessions in the third period took our momentum away," said Wycheck.
Krivak said: "We are going to go back to the drawing board, see if we can change some things and see if we can start making some first downs."
Asked about the morale of the team, Krivak said: "I don't have an answer for that. All I know is that we're going to practice Monday, and, as a coaching staff, we're going to go out and get them the best prepared for the next game."