Purdue emerged from its non-conference schedule with three wins in four contests and put on an offensive show in the process, averaging 42.5 points per game.
In the four games since, the Boilermakers have rattled off four-straight losses in Big Ten play, including a blowout loss at the hands of Minnesota, 44-28, on Saturday. So, something had to change.
Coach Danny Hope announced Sunday that former starting quarterback Caleb TerBush, who went 5-for-18 for just 49 yards in his start against the Golden Gophers, will be replaced by fellow senior Robert Marve. The newly announced starter entered the game in the second half on Saturday and his positive performance earned him the starting spot.
Hope described Marve’s outing, in which he completed 11-of-19 attempts for 97 yards and two touchdowns, as “exceptional”. Marve didn’t see action until after Minnesota’s 44-0 run, so he was not brought into the most ideal of circumstances.
“You’ve got to roll with the punches,” Marve told reporters after the game. “We’re playing next week no matter what, and we’ve got to get ready.”
This won’t be the first time Marve is thrown into the starting lineup, however.
Purdue suspended TerBush for the season opener after he violated team rules, and Marve stepped in well, throwing for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns — albeit against FCS Eastern Kentucky.
Upon TerBush’s return, Hope alternated using both quarterbacks against Notre Dame until Marve suffered a torn ACL late in the fourth quarter.
Hope said the quarterback has shown a lot of resiliency being able to come back from such a serious injury, one he has dealt with three times before.
“He gets his knee blown out again, and we’re all told [by team doctors] he’s gone and he won’t be able to serve our football team,” Hope said. “Yet, he’s hung in there and he’s stepped up and he became our starting quarterback again.”
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said regardless of who is under center, the Nittany Lions’ defense will need to stay “within the framework” of its scheme.
Marve will be replacing fellow senior TerBush, who, despite starting all 13 games last season, has already thrown more interceptions this season (8) than last (6).
Hope said he expects the team to benefit from the change in personnel under center because of the efficiency Marve demonstrated against Minnesota.
“I don’t think he had many true incomplete passes,” Hope said. “He had great quarterback stats and was able to generate some drives and he was very, very accurate with his passes.”
But although he is handing Marve the keys to the offense, Hope didn’t discount the chance of TerBush still seeing some action.
“We’ll see how the game goes,” Hope said. “We’ll do what we have to do to win the ballgame.”
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