September 18, 2012
Marve at practice; more Tuesday notes
On Tuesday, Robert Marve left the end of Purdue's practice in shells, like the rest of his teammates, and a knee brace.
The sixth-year quarterback, injured for the third time in his left knee ACL a week-and-a-half ago, participated in individual drills (like taking snaps, drops and throws, etc.) but nothing team related. It's his first step toward a possible return from damaging his knee against Notre Dame Sept. 8.
"I anticipate him being cleared and getting some team reps," Coach Danny Hope said. "The little bit I watched him, he looks good. I can't tell any difference. Now, he doesn't take off and run full-speed in practice, but he looks good in his drops, looks confident with his feet underneath him and it looks like he's throwing the ball very well.
"It looks like he's going to be able to make a comeback."
What percentage of health Marve's able to return to - and how quickly - remain to be seen. Hope says Purdue's preparing as if Caleb TerBush and Rob Henry will be the top two quarterbacks for Marshall, on Sept. 29, and does not anticipate Marve playing against the Thundering Herd.
"Obviously, it takes a lot of courage on his part," Hope said, "and we're going to have to have confidence that he's going to be safe. So there's still progress to be made, but it looks like it's got a real chance to happen.
If he's cleared and feels good and confident, and we feel good and confident, we'll put him in there and play him again."
Looking at youth
Purdue's spent the end of Monday's and Tuesday's practices getting a closer look at its youth.
Hope says he'd held back the freshmen, scout teamers and a few others to scrimmage for 15 to 20 plays, after allowing the veterans to head to the locker room. The group of holdovers includes those who are playing, but could stand to get more repetitions, perhaps because they'll playing time could increase.
"A good example would be Greg Latta," Hope said. "He plays in the games but is still new to the system in some ways. We kept him out there and got him a few reps.
"That (scrimmage) has gone very well."
Purdue also used a lot of no-huddle offense Tuesday, placing its No. 1 offensive unit vs. the first-team defense.
It's an effort to give the Boilermaker defenders a good feel for the pace Marshall likes to play.
"They're a no-huddle offensive football team," Hope said of the Thundering Herd. "They usually get a lot of plays off and snap the ball with about 20 seconds left on the (play) clock. So we came out and worked out no-huddle offense against our defense, which allows us to get better at our no-huddle offense and also prepare for Marshall."
Hope says it was a good day for Purdue's quarterbacks. He said the group has been disjointed from the start of the season, with TerBush being suspended for Game 1, Marve getting hurt in Game 2 and TerBush feeling sick prior to Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan.
"I thought today was the best we've looked at the quarterback spot," Hope said. "
We're making real progress at that position and that's key for us now."
When Ralph's ready
Ralph Bolden continues to rehab from his torn ACL, which came in the season-finale in 2011.
The fifth-year senior is getting some scrimmage repetitions, but isn't being tackled.
"He's carrying the ball and looks confident and fast," Hope said. "(Monday), he was in the pass offense and picking up the blitz and blocking the ends and throwing his body in there some. That was really encouraging to see. But I don't know when. When Ralph's ready, we'll let him go.
"I'm optimistic it will be this year."
Future with ND?
Notre Dame has agreed to a football relationship with the ACC which includes five games a year against conference schools.
Hope was asked what he thought that would mean for the annual rivalry between Purdue and Notre Dame. He says he'd hope it'd continue.
"It seems like a no-brainer to me in a lot of ways," Hope said. "I would think that from a traveling standpoint, they'd want to keep us on the schedule. They've certainly won more times against Purdue than lost, and it wouldn't be a very far trip home-and-home wise."
Happy for 3:30
The Marshall game has been set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, delighting many fans who like the late afternoon kickoffs times.
Hope was asked whether the team's preparation changes depending on if it's a noon or 3:30 start.
"Not for the team, but for the fans, there's certainly a difference in preparation for the game," he deadpanned. "I'm glad it's a 3:30 game because we'll have more fans in the stands as a result of it.
"I've been very pleased with the Ross-Ade Brigade and the number of students trying to get in to the stadium. The 3:30 game, after a big win vs. Eastern Michigan, the fact that a lot of the experts feel like we're legitimate contenders to win our division, I would anticipate a big crowd vs. Marshall and can't wait for the game to get here."
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