Purdue QB Marve back on big stage against Irish

BY foxsports • September 28, 2011

Robert Marve is ready for a return to the spotlight.

The Purdue quarterback missed a year after tearing the ACL in his left knee, then came back and played a limited role against Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 17.

Now, with his knee tested and healed, he could have a bigger role Saturday against Notre Dame.

Caleb TerBush has been the starter this season, but the temptation for Purdue coach Danny Hope to increase Marve's playing time this week could be great because of his big-game experience.

Marve opened his Miami career at The Swamp against Florida in 2008, led the Hurricanes to a win at Texas A&M the next week and started against Florida State later in the year. After transferring, he started Purdue's opener at Notre Dame last season and completed 31 of 42 passes for 220 yards in a 23-12 loss. He was 18 of 24 for 134 yards in the second half.

Hope always has considered Marve's experience an asset and has made it clear he wants to get Marve onto the field.

''You would like to play him as much as you can, but Caleb is playing awful well, also,'' Hope said. ''So we'll play it by ear. We have a lot of confidence that Caleb will go out and play very well this Saturday. And Robert, he will do very well also. If there comes a point in time that we feel like Robert needs to be in there to give a shot in the arm or Caleb needs some assistance now, we have the right guy.''

Hope didn't rule out the possibility that Marve eventually could regain the starting job.

''We can win with both of those guys, and both of those guys will be able to help us win this Saturday,'' Hope said.

Purdue expected Marve to be ready heading into training camp, but he struggled. His knee was sore and swelling was a repeated problem.

Marve's slow recovery allowed Rob Henry, who replaced Marve last season, to emerge as the starter. Then, Henry went down with an ACL injury, allowing TerBush to step in.

Meanwhile, Marve's knee finally began to heal enough for him to start practicing. Now, he has gone a significant amount of time without a setback.

''He has not missed any reps prior to the Southeast Missouri game or since the Southeast Missouri game,'' Hope said Tuesday. ''He's had all the rest we've had a chance to get him, and he has not had any repercussions from practicing hard. I think he's ready to go.''

TerBush has led Purdue to a 2-1 record. He led a game-winning drive in the 27-24 win over Middle Tennessee State in the opener, then led Purdue down the field in the final minutes against Rice before Carson Wiggs' field goal was blocked in the closing seconds of a 24-22 loss. He completed 14 of 17 passes for 143 yards in a 59-0 win over Southeast Missouri State.

For now, that's been enough for TerBush to hold off Marve.

''I think coming out of the three games, he's (TerBush) a lot more confident, a lot more sure,'' Hope said. ''He's very comfortable with the situation. I think he's been gaining momentum. I think he threw the ball very well throughout the course of the bye week.''

Hope is thrilled to have two healthy quarterbacks after all the team has been through at the position the past two years. The Boilermakers have started five different quarterbacks in the past 13 months.

''This time last year, we were having a hard time piecing together a quarterback of any kind, so the fact that we have two right now and that are talented and want to work hard and win, it's been the best situation we've been in in quarterback in a long time,'' Hope said.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap.

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