Maryland wideout Derrick Fenner, who left Saturday night's game on a stretcher after being sandwiched between two Navy defenders during a two-point conversion attempt, was recovering from a concussion yesterday, Coach Ralph Friedgen said.
Tests yesterday morning were encouraging, Friedgen said, although at a minimum Fenner will miss practice today and tomorrow. If he continues to progress today he likely will return to practice Wednesday and be on the field for Saturday's home opener against Clemson; if he misses Wednesday's practice, he could also miss the Clemson game, Friedgen said.
Aside from the obvious health concerns, Fenner's departure was a worrisome development for a Terps team intent on rediscovering the long ball this year. The senior had Maryland's longest reception during Saturday's 23-20 win -- a leaping 28-yard grab over the middle moments before he was injured -- and he also drew a pass interference call in the first half. None of Maryland's other wideouts caught a pass longer than 15 yards, although Friedgen said that was largely a function of Navy's soft defensive coverage.
While coaches had been generally pleased with the passing game this preseason, they turned over the ball to their running backs Saturday night. During two consecutive second-half scoring drives, 14 of 15 plays were runs. Twelve of those went to first-time starter Mario Merrills, whose 149 rushing yards were more than any Maryland back gained in a game last season. The Terps' average of 5.3 yards per carry also was far better than their best performance last year, 4.6 against Duke.
"We ran the ball better than we've been, but we've still got to execute better, get assignments down," Friedgen said. "We're still not as effective as I want us to be, but I think it was a good start."