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October 9, 2012
Decision-making key in QB choice
LISTEN: Danny Hope on Tuesday.
Caleb TerBush hears the talk.
He knows some fans are clamoring for Robert Marve to get his chance as Purdue's starting quarterback.
But he knows, too, it's just talk.
Coach Danny Hope and offensive coordinator Gary Nord make the decisions on playing time and personnel, and they're not budging on which player they think is the best to lead the Boilermakers to a still-possible Leaders Division championship.
A large reason for that call is because of what TerBush does before the ball is even snapped, Hope said.
"I think Caleb TerBush is probably the best decision-maker in regards to checking to the right plays against the right fronts and the right blitzes, the right protections against specific blitzes," Hope said. "That's one of the reasons why he's our quarterback obviously.
"It's a huge factor in quarterback play. The one that can manage it the best as long as he's talented enough to win with is the guy who want to have out there. If decision-making wasn't a big part of it, if you weren't really sure that you had certain plays that you wanted to run against certain defenses, than we wouldn't practice, we wouldn't have a playbook, we'd just send them out there and let them play. We don't do it that way. We spend about 80 hours a week preparing our football team to get ourselves in the best situation based on stats, tendencies, what we expect to see form our opponent on both sides of the ball. So executing the game plan to the detail of the letter is a very important but a very, very important part of playing the quarterback position."
In four games, all starts, TerBush has completed 64 percent of his passes for 641 yards. He's thrown eight touchdowns and five interceptions, two of which have been returned for touchdowns and another that was on a last-second desperation heave.
In three games, one start, Marve has completed 72 percent of his passes for 457 yards. He has four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Marve was the first game starter after TerBush was suspended for violation of team rules, but then Marve injured his left ACL in Game 2 against Notre Dame. He returned to the field nearly one month later on Saturday against Michigan and had two drives, the first ended in a field goal, the second in an interception.
Hope said he's been "amazed" at Marve's recovery, despite not having surgery, and that the coaching staff feels more confident now after seeing him play in a game "about his safety."
Marve said after the game that he has no pain in his knee and he's eager for more opportunities to help the team win.
It'll be determined this week what the rotation plan is for the quarterbacks, whether there's a predetermined plan on when Marve plays or whether he's used "as needed," Hope said.
"I think he's much more ready and much further along now than I thought he was going into last week or even going into the ballgame on Saturday," Hope said.
Still, it's likely TerBush will take the bulk of the snaps against Wisconsin.
And he's preparing to do such.
"You can't really get caught up in all of that (QB talk)," said TerBush, who spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon before media was informed quarterbacks would be off-limits for interviews this week.
"I've always had the mind-set just go to work every day to get better. That's what I've tried to do and fortunately I've been able to keep playing. So I'm just going to keep doing what I can to make myself a better player and a student of the game and take it from there."
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