After coach Joe Krivak met with the press following his Maryland football team's 47-7 loss to Penn State here Saturday, a reporter who follows the Terps regularly turned to me with a sad face.
"You get the feeling, listening to Joe," the man said, "that he wants out of this."
If he does, it's understandable.
Krivak is a good man who has been a football coach all his adult life, who knows the game and works as hard as humanly possible, but is simply not getting the necessary results.
His team is 2-7 with the likelihood of finishing 2-9 with Clemson and North Carolina State remaining. Krivak's five Maryland teams are a cumulative 20-32-2 -- a record few coaches could survive.
Krivak knows the facts of coaching life. Last year things also looked grim, before freshman Mark Mason came out of nowhere to run for 116 yards and two touchdowns and lead Maryland to a 35-30 win over Virginia to save the coach's job and get him a new, four-year contract. Krivak had never had a winning season. It looked as if that one would wind up 5-6.
"You have to win," Krivak said at the time. "That's the bottom line."
He knows that still applies.
* Mitch Suplee is a good tri-captain for the beleaguered Maryland football team. At a time when the Terps were smothering in negativism, the 270-pound center found something good to say about the pasting his team took Saturday.
"You could see the effort out there today," Suplee said. "Last week [in a 24-0 loss at North Carolina] there was no effort whatsoever. We're a lot better than we seem."
* Although there were boos for Maryland in the Memorial Stadium crowd of 57,4116, there was at least one knowledgeable observer standing up for the Terps and Krivak: Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
"When you look at Maryland at the beginning of the season," said Paterno, "they were not that far off. They beat Virginia and played some other good teams tough.
"But then they were hit with all the injuries and this week they lose three regulars through academics. We couldn't handle that either."
* Even in a poor team performance a few individuals stand out. For Maryland, junior linebacker Mike Jarmolowich was one of those against Penn State.
"Losing is contagious," said Jarmolowich, a gutty competitor who was in on 11 tackles. "If you've got that attitude, you shouldn't be out there.
"Penn State outplayed and outexecuted us. Nothing for us is jelling."
Does Jarmolowich believe in Krivak?
"You have to believe in the person leading you," he said.
* There were three football games on three different levels
played here Saturday afternoon within close proximity of each other. In each, defense was the story.
Penn State shut out Maryland until substitutes were on the field and freshman Raphael Wall scored midway through the final period.
Just up University Parkway, Johns Hopkins was defeating Franklin and Marshall, 16-14. A swarming, hard-hitting defense led Hopkins to its fifth win against three losses and a tie. Franklin & Marshall was stopped on a two-point conversion try that would have tied the game with 28 seconds left.
Not far from there in a Maryland Scholastic Association defensive struggle, 14th-ranked Gilman beat No. 9 Poly, 3-0. Even Gilman coach Sherm Bristow was surprised his team had shut out always strong Poly.
Defensive coordinator for Gilman is Nick Schloeder, who has taught and coached at that school for nearly 30 years. Typically, Schloeder looked at the big picture.
"A game like this," he said, "is a credit to the MSA. Here's a big public school, Poly, and a private school like ours and we have a wonderful relationship.
"In most cities, public schools play against each other and private schools play only private schools. I think there's a lot to be said for the way we do it here."