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August 12, 2012

Addressing the third quarter; Day 9 report

LISTEN: Danny Hope after practice

Purdue's been miserable in the third quarter.

Last season, the Boilermakers were outscored 79-to-36 in the first period after halftime, often losing leads in the third. It's such a cause for concern that Danny Hope and Co. are planning to address it during training camp.

In the late afternoon practice Monday, the second of a two-a-day, Hope said Purdue will work on its team drills in Ross-Ade Stadium, then break for 15 minutes to go to the halftime locker room, before coming back out for more scrimmage-like work.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Hope said of Purdue's third-quarter woes, "and I don't know if there's a magic equation for it, but just the fact that you've identified it and are working on it will create some confidence for your team."

Hope says he has some ideas for how to have his team better prepared for the second half. He'd like them to come out of the locker room, and get re-stretched out by sports performance director Duane Carlisle. Then, the Boilermakers would break up into position specific groups with their coaches to work on specific drills.

It's been a little more relaxed in the past.

"I want to try to do it a little more regimented," the fourth-year coach said. "… I don't think we've come out in the second half playing very fast, so we're going to address it, practice it and see if we can't come out faster out of halftime."

A chance for others

Purdue's wide receivers, notably starter Gary Bush, have been nicked up, so youngsters have gotten an opportunity of late.

After Sunday's practice, offensive coordinator Gary Nord mentioned freshmen Danny Anthrop and Cameron Posey. Hope spoke of the duo, as well, along with redshirt freshman Shane Mikesky and Dolapo Macarthy and sophomore Charles Torwudzo.

"We have to sort through those guys some and figure out which are going to be in the two deep, and traveling and playing on Saturdays," Hope said. "So it was good to get those guys out there and get some work with them. We'll be able to evaluate them on film tonight."

Hope was asked about Anthrop in particular.

"We're very pleased with Danny," Hope said. "He continues to learn the system and goes harder and faster as he does. His suddenness stuck out early in camp and he's learning what to do now."

Sights and sounds

Hope was pleased with his offense Sunday, particularly with its ability to pick up blitz packages of the defense.

"That's a good sign for our football team," he said.

Hope thought starting quarterback Caleb TerBush shined too.

"I thought Caleb was outstanding throwing the ball the last couple days and seems to have taken his game to a different level," Hope said. "He really understands where he's going with the ball and gets it out of his hand in a hurry. All of our quarterbacks are progressing, but I thought Caleb did very well today."

During the early portion of practice, which is open to the media, senior Antwon Higgs was with the first team defense, while Dwayne Beckford was with the second.

Hope said the linebackers will depend on the defensive schemes, but he's liked what he's see from Higgs.

"He's lost some weight and is a leaner athlete," Hope said. "I've been pleased with Antwon Higgs. He's a guy who's normally into it and the energy goes a long ways out there. It's good to have him out there with the 1s and the 2s.

"He's always been a good player, he's just had to run faster and play faster, and I think he's doing that."




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