Purdue coach shrugs off AD statement
This isn’t how it was supposed to be for Purdue and coach Danny
Hope this season.
The Boilermakers, expected to challenge for a Rose Bowl berth
this season, have started 0-4 in conference play and are in danger
of missing out on postseason play.
Athletic director Morgan Burke released a statement Monday night
saying he expected more from the Boilermakers this season, but the
team’s performance ”has kept us from reaching our goals.”
Hope said Tuesday that he didn’t think the statement was a big
deal, and that he was more concerned about Saturday’s home game
against Penn State.
”I read it, but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, or
didn’t try to read between the lines any,” Hope said. ”I think
it’s a pretty generic statement and pretty similar to the one that
was posted out this time last year. Our focus is to prepare our
football team for a game this Saturday. So I didn’t pay a whole lot
of attention to the statement.”
The statement got some attention given recent circumstances.
Purdue was crushed in back-to-back home games to start the Big
Ten season – 44-13 against Michigan and 38-14 against Wisconsin.
The Boilermakers looked like they might be ready to turn the corner
with a solid effort in a 29-22 overtime loss to Ohio State, but
they fell behind 44-7 at Minnesota before losing 44-28 last week.
Minnesota had been winless in Big Ten play and had mustered just 39
points in three Big Ten games combined.
”We played well against Ohio State,” Hope said. ”Played well
enough to win against a top opponent, in a hostile environment.
Thought we came away from that ballgame with a lot of confidence.
We were disappointed in a loss. Bounced back and practiced probably
as well these past two games as we have throughout any other time
in the course of the season. Didn’t perform as well this past
Purdue rallied against Minnesota behind quarterback Robert
Marve. The senior, who has torn his left ACL three times, completed
11 of 19 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota,
enough to earn the start Saturday over the struggling Caleb
TerBush. Marve started the season-opening win against Eastern
Kentucky, then split time with TerBush against Notre Dame. He tore
his ACL for the third time against the Irish, and TerBush had been
starting ever since.
Marve has worked back into the rotation since stepping in during
the second half of the Michigan game and now is playing well enough
and is healthy enough to take on a greater role. That, combined
with TerBush’s season-long struggles, made the move necessary.
”It was based on his performance in the ballgame, and the fact
that we believe now he can play with his leg like it is,” Hope
said. ”A month ago we were told that he probably wouldn’t play
football again. So even though he was saying all the right things
and we were hoping that he could, the medical experts were telling
us it was very doubtful.”
Hope said the Boilermakers still can have a successful
”Obviously, you want to be aware to stop any negative momentum
or any downward spiral,” he said. ”But you hope that you
surrounded yourself with the right coaches and players that can do
something besides just being ordinary when you’re going through
”This is a time for extraordinary people, not ordinary people.
I believe we have enough extraordinary people around us to still
manufacture a good season. There is still a lot to be played for or
to play for. There are four games left – a third of the season. We
can still win seven regular season ball games.”