For four years they battled each other for the starting job.

Coach Jerry Claiborne would become irritated every week over the same question he found offensively controversial.Who will start at quarterback for Maryland?

The last chapter will be written Dec. 22 at the Hall of Fame Bowl and the ending for Larry Dick and Mark Manges is a happy one.

Manges, who usually held a slight edge, will applaud on the bench as Dick starts the last collegiate game for both.

Manges led the Terps to an 11-0 regular season last year. He was mentioned this preseason as a Heisman Trophy candidate basically a safety latch in case another undefeated record fell into the laps of the Terps, who wouldn't want to be caught without a Heisman possibility.

But Manges never was at full speed, playing with a bruised toe in the first few games, then leaving for the rest of the season with a broken hand in the fifth game against Syracuse.

Dick had several oustanding days, completing 12 of 15 passes against Duke for 249 yards and 18 of 24 against West Virginia for 234 yards. A hip-pointer hampered him and he threw 12 interceptions, but completed 83 of 135 passes for 1.351 yards.

The two were so impressive Claiborne always had difficulty choosing. But Manges, the better runner and roll-out passer, never outright lost the job.

One professional scout says that the Nos. 1 and 2 prospects on the team are Manges and Dick, not particulary in any order.

Both are outstanding leaders and exceptional persons. They roomed together on the road and in all the hundreds of days they spent trying to outdo the other, they had angry words only one.

Then, Dick let off steam and all Manges said to him was, "I don't know what to say."

One of the most difficult periods occured two years ago, prior to the Gator Bowl. Both had been hurt and erratic and the decision was a half-to-half thing. No one knew who would start the Gator Bowl. Finally, Dick did and the Terps scored a 13-0 victory.

This year it is the Hall of Fame Bowl against Minnesota and although Claiborne has been noncommittal about who would start at quarter-back, Manges said he knows. "They don't have to tell me. It's Larry's game and he deserves it . Larry is first team all the way." Manges said.

"He's the only one working out with the first team in practice. I'm the alternating second quarterback with Tim O'Hare. They might work me with the first string later, and I'm sure I'll play in the games, no matter how Larry plays. It's my last game, too."

There was no trace of tension in the face of Manges. This was not like the Gator Bowl. "This is better for the team." said Manges. I agree with the decision all the way. I'm happy with everything. My hand is fine. I have no pain when I throw. And I'll get to play one more game.

"It feels good to be back."

Claiborne said it is "likely" Dick will start, "unless something happens." Asked to clarify, Claiborne managed a smile.

Practice resumed Thursday and will continue locally until the Terpsgo go to Birmingham, Al., next Sunday.

Senior defensive back Doug Harbert also was back for the first time since breaking a clavicle in the third game against Penn State. Harbert was a starter, but he is working with the second team. Claiborne said he does not expect to know if Harbert will be able to play until the day before the game.

Receiver Jim Hagam, a senior hurt on his first regular-season trip in five years, is doubtful for the bowl game because of an injured knee. Vince Kinney, broken leg, and Ernie Salley, knee surgery were starters and are the only seniors who definitely will miss their final college game.

Harbert is pleased to be back, "I'm doing pretty good, but not as good as before I was hurt. This year has been frustrating. For me, and for the team."