It turns out that Maryland coaches entered the season opener against Navy with a quarterback secret.
Redshirt junior Jamarr Robinson was to be the starter — that much was known before the game.
But coaches said after Maryland's 17-14 victory at M&T; Bank Stadium on Monday that the plan was to look for opportunities to rotate in redshirt freshman Danny O'Brien for plays or series.
Apparently, that remains the plan going forward.
"We're going to use them both," was the way Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen put it after the game.
Friedgen was quick to emphasize that "it's nothing against Jamarr." He and other coaches have long been enamored of O'Brien's passing, his size (6feet3, 215 pounds ) and quick grasp of the offense. They would also like O'Brien to get game experience.
The Terps (1-0) will host Morgan State (1-0) on Saturday.
O'Brien entered Monday's game for only one play — a botched handoff to Davin Meggett at the Navy 16 with the score tied at 14. There appeared to be a communications mix-up on the play, and the two were seen jawing at each other as they left the field after the lost fumble.
Robinson was quick to say afterward that he would share the position if that's what the coaches asked.
"I'm fine with it. If that's what Coach wants to do, that's fine. I'm all about the team," he said. "I mean he told us beforehand" of the plans for O'Brien.
Robinson was in the opposite position a year ago. Fifth-year senior Chris Turner was the starter, and coaches were looking for ways to get the mobile Robinson into games.
Robinson had been set to play against Clemson in the fifth game of 2009. But the quarterback strained a back muscle before the game. He ended up becoming the starter after Turner hurt his knee four games later. He seemed to become progressively more comfortable with each game he played.
But Robinson was not enjoying a good passing game Monday when O'Brien came in. Robinson finished the game 2-for-5 for 11 yards. He badly missed receiver Torrey Smith on a fade route in the end zone — a play Maryland practices more than most — and threw an interception under pressure with the Terps ahead 14-7 in the second quarter.
But he also ran for 103 yards.
Friedgen said he was not concerned about Robinson's play. "I've seen him do it [pass well] in practice. Our plan was if we could run the ball and try to hang on to the ball, that's what we were going to do."
Said Robinson, who is known for keeping cool: "I'm not concerned. I've just got to go check out the film and make some adjustments."