Earlier this week I was contacted by the Purdue SB Nation website Hammerandrails.com about conducting a Q&A before this week’s game. My answers to their questions can be found here, and they were nice enough to respond to my inquires below, enjoy:
MTB: It looks like Caleb Terbush will be the Boilermakers starter against Marshall but Robert Marve played well against Eastern Kentucky and Notre Dame. What is Purdue’s quarterback situation entering Saturday’s game?
H&N: Robert Marve has an ACL that is “damaged” in his left knee and has not played since the Notre Dame game. He has been the better quarterback so far, but the health of his knee is going to be an issue throughout the season. He has stated that he is going to come back this year since he is a sixth year senior and is not getting another year anyway. He was recently cleared for individual workouts, so it is possible he will go on Saturday.
More likely, TerBush will start and Rob Henry will take a few snaps as a wildcat QB. Henry threw an interception in the first game, but has been effective since. Henry is more of a running QB than TerBush and Marve. With him, the two-QB system makes more sense because he at least provides a different look. He’s very dangerous with his legs.
MTB: Everyone knows about defensive lineman Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston, what other players on defense keep the Boilermakers running?
H&N: Josh Johnson and Ricardo Allen are two of the best cornerbacks in the Big Ten. Allen has gotten more press, but Johnson has had the better year overall. Walk-on safety Landon Feichter also leads the team in interceptions with two, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Will Lucas is becoming an excellent linebacker and may finally be our answer over the middle on defense.
The defense has been the strength of the team this far. It hasn’t been tested as much as it will against Marshall, however. Facing a rookie QB, a bad Eastern Michigan team, and an FCS foe is much different than facing the NCAA’s leading passer.
MTB: Akeem Shavers leads Purdue in rushing, what type of running style should Marshall expect from the Texas native?
H&N: Shavers is a powerful runner that has breakaway speed if needed. Marshall will likely see several runners though. Akeem Hunt has been incredibly explosive and had a huge game against EMU. Brandon Cottom is one of the biggest running backs I have ever seen and can be a powerful, punishing runner. He had an 87 yard TD run against EMU. Then there is Rob Henry, who often plays the QB position more like a wildcat QB with the read-option game.
MTB: The Big Ten looks down this year, can Purdue make a run at the Rose Bowl?
H&N Absolutely. When two of the six teams in our division are ineligible and two more are historically inept (Illinois and Indiana) we’ve been thinking of the Wisconsin game at home as the deciding factor in us getting to the Big Ten championship game.
My only concern is the quarterback situation. If Robert Marve was the definitely starter and completely healthy I would feel much better. Danny hope is hellbent on playing multiple QBs, however, and Marve’s health is going to be an issue all season. TerBush is decent, but he has not been as effective as Marve yet.
MTB: You are visiting West Lafayette and Ross-Ade Stadium for the first time, what are the “must do’s” in order to have a great experience?
H&N Breakfast Club is a football tradition where the bars on State Street open at 7am and students go in costume for a day-long party up to kickoff. You see some of the most bizarre costumes possible. The Triple XXX diner was also featured on the Food Network as one of the best diners in America. It has all kinds of signed Purdue memorabilia and menu items named after Purdue great, including the Drew Brees burger.