Neil O'Donnell, who has started the last two games at quarterback for Maryland, will do so again Saturday against Clemson, Coach Joe Krivak said yesterday after spending the week deciding between O'Donnell and Dan Henning.

"The fact that Neil is very mobile and with some of things their defense is going to do, we may have trouble protecting," Krivak said when asked what was the deciding factor.

Krivak told the two of his decision yesterday.

"It's important that the kid that is going to start has at least 24 hours to mentally prepare," Krivak said. "And I want the No. 2 guy to know that he has to be ready for us at any time."

Henning, a redshirt senior, had started 18 straight games until he was injured in the Duke game, Oct. 24. O'Donnell relieved him and led Maryland to a comeback victory. O'Donnell then started losses to North Carolina and Penn State, with Henning replacing O'Donnell for the fourth quarter in both games. Against Penn State, Henning brought Maryland to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the loss was sealed when he threw an interception with about two minutes left.

"From the standpoint of last week, Dan might have been better in the quarter he was in than the three that Neil was in," Krivak said. "They were probably even the week before {North Carolina}, and Neil did a great job in the Duke game."

In Saturday's 21-16 loss to Penn State, O'Donnell was 15 of 24 for 130 yards with one interception. Henning was nine of 18 for 195 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Because each quarterback has played in the last three weeks, and they've alternated with the first group this week in practice, Maryland's coaches don't think the decision will affect the other 10 players.

"The team is going to play regardless of who is at quarterback," said Krivak, who may again use Henning, depending on how effective the offense is with O'Donnell at quarterback.

Maryland coaches are hoping that the bigger, faster O'Donnell, who is a redshirt sophomore, will develop the poise Henning usually displays.

"The one kid has a little more quickness and the other has more upstairs," Krivak said. Then, referring to O'Donnell, Krivak said, "I don't want him to feel like he's being jerked around because of last week. It's just a feeling, although, so far, my feelings haven't been very good."