Injured Maryland quarterback Mark Manges has been placed on crutches and whether he starts Saturday's home opener against West Virginia will depend on how much he can practice this week. Terrapin coach Jerry Claiborne said yesterday.

Dr. Stan Lavine, the team physician ordered manges yesterday to use crutches for two days in order to take the weight off his painful, swollen left foot, X rays yesterday were negative.

Maryland was trailing, 147, in its season opener against Clemson Saturday when Manges asked to be taken out in the third quarter. Larry Dick, a fellow senior who guided the Terps in the 1975 Gator Bowl, come off the bench and rallied the Terps to a 21-14 victory.

Claiborne wants to avoid a Sonny-Billy quarterback controversy. He said yesterday Manges would be the starter against West Virginia as long as he could practice two days this week.

Although the injury, which also hampered Manges last year, made his running ineffective Saturday, Claiborne was pleased with Manges' passing, even though the final statistics showed seven completions in 17 attempts for 83 yards and one interception.

Claiborne absorved Manges for any blame on the 93-yard interception that turned a potential 14-0 Maryland lead into a 7-7 halftime tie.

"He had four other passes dropped on him and we had two completions (of 14 and 20 yards) called back by penalties," Claiborne said.

"If those passes aren't dropped and we don't have the penalties, he's 13 for 19 for who-how-many yards."

Maryland's other injury concern - quick tackle Kervin Wyatt's knee - was not as bad as originally thought. After the game Dr. Lavine said surgery might be needed to repair cartilage damage. The knee, however, did not swell up and a decision on Wyatt's status was put off for at least a week.

Jim Ulam will replace Wyatt against West Virginia.

Overall, Claiborne was pleased by his team's comeback at Clemson, but he said his squad must eliminate mistakes and have better concentration in order to beat West Virginia, which displayed a strong running game in a 36-0 victory over Richmond Saturday.

Dick's performance - five of seven completions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, including the 43-yard game winner to Jim Hagon - earned him Maryland's nomination for Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week.

Center Don Rhodes, linebacker Neal Oklewicz and defensive guard Ted Klaube also were nominated.

Claiborne also was pleased with tailback Steve Atkins' first major action since injuring his knee early last season. Atkin gained 88 yards in 24 carries. What pleased Claiborne most were the 46 yards Atkins got on second efforts after he had been hit initially.

Meanwhile, Navy coach George Welsh was happy about his team's defense in a 21-2 opening victory over The Citadel.

"The defense did real well; they are really improved," Welsh said. "I wouldn't want to put them in the same class with our 1975 defense yet. They're not as quick and they're not as strong, but if we can hold our own against a strong running team, we'll be O.K."

The Mids get that test in two weeks, at Michigan, following Saturday's game against Connecticut, which was trounced by Lehigh, 49-0, Saturday.

Welsh singled out the play of his entire defensive backfield.

"We're miles ahead of last year," Welsh said of his defense.

The offense as not as far along as the defense, Welsh said, but he considered that normal for the first game and also because starting quarterback Bob Leszczynski missed spring practice so he could play baseball.

Welsh said starting right guard Rich Bott suffered a sprained knee, the only significant injury in the game for Navy."

The only major area school with major worries was Howard, a 28-6 loser to Florida A&M at East Ruther-ford, N.J. The Bison thought this was going to be their year.

Instead Howard was embarrassed by a lack of blocking, a woefully inadequate secondary, a number of penalties and quarterback play that resulted in six pass interceptions.

Howard was playing before a crowd of 35,094 at Ginats Stadium. Coach Dough Porter, his staff and his players remained in East Rutherford to attend the New York Giant-Miami Dolphin preseason NFL game yesterday. Porter could not be reached for comment. CAPTION:

Maryland's Steve Atkins runs out of the grasp of Clemson defender mark Heniford. Maryland rallied behind reserve quarterback Larry Dick for 21-14 victory. UPI; Picture 3, James Breakfield of Howard steps through the Florida A&M defense for first-quarter yardage. Howard lost opener, 28-6. UPI