Caleb TerBush didn't want the job like this.
He had accepted that he would start Purdue's season behind Rob Henry on the depth chart at quarterback, felt comfortable that his role would be battling for the backup spot with Robert Marve and Sean Robinson.
And then Henry tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Tuesday's practice, and TerBush vaulted to No. 1 for Week 1.
"(We were) kind of shocked because when we saw it, it didn't really look like he did that much," TerBush said Thursday after practice about his response to Henry's injury.
"It happened. You've got to move on. That's why we're fortunate enough we've got people to help fill in and we've got a good surrounding cast. I wouldn't say we've been looking at it as 'Here we go again.' We've just got to move forward."
With TerBush at the helm.
He hasn't played in a game since Oct. 31, 2009, and that was only in mop-up time during a 37-0 blowout loss at Wisconsin. He completed 4 of 10 passes for 22 yards in that game.
He joked that served to get the first-game jitters out of the way, but he also said it was valuable experience. Even if it was a fleeting one.
"It was good to get out there and work with my teammates and do what we could at the time. But, now, it's right at the start of the season, so we've got to come out firing on all cylinders," he said.
TerBush insists this offense is ready to do that.
He called Ralph Bolden an "electric" running back and is excited about what transfer Akeem Shavers has shown, too. He said he likes the options at receiver, tight end and the experience on the offensive line.
And despite spending most of the practices last season while he was ineligible leading the scout team offense and running opposing teams' plays, TerBush still has extensive knowledge of Purdue's playbook.
"I know a lot about the offense. I've been in it for awhile," he said. "It's just piecing it all together with the chemistry with the 1s and going in day-in and day-out. I'd say we're pretty confident right now.
"(Running the scout team offense was) all the same concepts. Everyone runs different plays, but they all have the same concepts. Really it was different by giving me a variety of things to look at and I used it as a learning tool. But when I came back to our offense, I knew what was happening, what was going on and what to do."
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