Despite torn ACL Purdue’s Robert Marve wants to return this season
by michael osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org September 11, 2012 8:50PM
Purdue quarterback Robert Marve (9) scramble against Notre Dame during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 20-17. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
The Big Number
100 — Purdue’s percentage converting in the red zone so far this season. The Boilermakers have scored on all nine of their trips, including eight touchdowns.
After playing Eastern Michigan, Purdue has a bye, before playing Marshall. The Boilermakers likely will watch film and stretch on Sunday, and practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They then likely will have off on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before resuming practice next Sunday. “That way, they’ll be fresher going into the second half of the season,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said. “That recovery is a big part of our master plan, if you will, this season.”
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:55PM
Robert Marve suffered a “significant” tear of the ACL in his left knee late in Purdue’s 20-17 loss at Notre Dame, but a potential return this season has not been ruled out for the sixth-year senior quarterback.
“He’ll be out at least for a couple of weeks, let the swelling go down, and then he’ll have the option whether or not he can come back and play or not,” Boilermakers coach Danny Hope said on Tuesday, adding he was surprised how well Marve has looked in the aftermath of this latest injury. “If it feels good enough from a pain management standpoint, a swelling standpoint, he can brace it up and he can actually come back and play. We’re hoping that things go his way from a healing process standpoint, but it is torn. We anticipate him making an attempt to come back and play this season.”
Twice previously, Marve has torn his left ACL, undergoing reconstructive surgery each time; the first injury occurred in the spring of 2009 shortly after he announced his transfer from Miami to Purdue, and the second in the fourth game of the 2010 season. After the NCAA granted him a sixth year, Marve was as healthy as he had been in his Boilermakers career heading into the 2012 season. But he was sacked against the Irish, and his left knee bent awkwardly.
“There is a significant ACL tear, but there have been some guys in the past that have played with a similar situation,” Hope said. “So it’ll be up to Robert as far as when he can get back and start getting some reps and how he feels. But I know he’s very determined. He’s a real warrior. I have an unbelievable amount of respect for Robert Marve.”
Marve will not be in uniform against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, though he hinted a target for his return could be against Marshall on Sept. 29.
“I don’t want to sit out,” he said, delaying any surgery — if he has it — to focus only on this season because of a bond with his teammates and his belief he can help this team. “This is my last shot at this. I’m playing good football, smart football right now, and I don’t want to get too far out of it.
“I have a good thing rolling this season, I feel like I’m playing pretty well. The hardest thing was everybody is probably seeing me play for the first time for two games, and hopefully I can keep that going later on in the year.”
Marve, too, noted other athletes, including wide receivers and wrestlers, have played with such an injury.
“It’s not something that hasn’t been done before,” he said. “I have to get back to a place where I feel comfortable. … I’m not going to tell myself I’m ready to go when I’m not. … I know my body better than anyone.”
Marve thanked his family, friends and fans for all the support.
“I’m good,” he said. “I struggled a little bit on Sunday, I was down in the dumps for a second. But everything’s a blessing, everything will work its way out. I’m feeling good right now.
“I want to come back, I want to come back so bad. … Hopefully I’ll be back quicker than everyone thinks.”
Fifth-year senior quarterback Caleb TerBush, who started all 13 games last season and last week at Notre Dame after serving a one-game suspension, will continue atop the depth chart. Rob Henry, who took over in 2010 after Marve’s injury before tearing his own ACL about a week before last season’s opener, has been elevated from No. 3 to No. 2. And redshirt freshman walk-on Austin Parker (not highly regarded freshman Austin Appleby) is now the No. 3.
“It’s really all about adapting and adjusting throughout a season,” TerBush said. “We’ve been through it before, we’ve had people go down. We just have to pull together and stay together, and fill in those roles.
“As we moved on from last year, we’ve become a more mature football team. We’re definitely all in for one another, and we’re ready to pull together. It’s definitely an unfortunate thing that happened to Robert. But it’s a long season, and we have to move on and we have to prepare ourselves to fill that void and make things happen.”
Hope described the loss of Marve as “a huge hit.”
“It hurts our team because we lose one of our soldiers and one of our warriors,” he said. “Obviously, Robert or no one plays perfect. But I’ve been around a lot of football, and Robert gives an unbelievable effort and brings a lot of passion to your game and to your team. If you’ve watched him on the sidelines the last couple years, in spite of his obstacles, he has been a team guy all the way through. Sometimes people might not understand everything about him and about our program, but I’ve never had any questions about his intentions or how important this team winning is to Robert Marve.
“We lose a little bit of that with him not being on the field right now, but he’s on our team still and he’s getting ready to play again.
I think just our players watching him trying to return to the playing field again to help us win is something that will inspire our football team and maybe add something to our football team, even though we might be without the services of his play for a while.”
In the season opener against Eastern Kentucky, Marve completed 30-of-38 passes for a career-high 295 yards and three touchdowns, tying a career high, with one interception. He went 11-of-18 for 119 yards and a touchdown against Notre Dame.
In his season debut against the Irish following his suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules, TerBush went 8-of-19 for 79 yards and the game-tying touchdown and two interceptions.
“I have to (take his game to another level),” TerBush said. “With Robert going down, it’s definitely a key loss. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen. But I have to step up, and we have players around me that will help with that. I probably didn’t have my best game last weekend, but there’s always room for improvement.”
Henry, who continues to recover from his torn ACL, did not play against Notre Dame, after going 7-of-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown with one interception against Eastern Kentucky.
“Certainly, Rob Henry becomes very, very important to us and our team right now,” Hope said. “… Rob Henry brings a whole different dimension as a quarterback, as an athlete, to the playing field.
“That could be potentially the epitome of a dual quarterback system, two quarterbacks in the same huddle at the same time, both of them with the potential to be passing quarterbacks and both of them with the potential to be running quarterbacks, and one of them (Henry) being one of the fastest guys on our football team. Where we’re at in the evolution of that right now and where we’re at two weeks from now or four weeks from now, at the end of the season, is yet to be determined, but there’s some great potential there.”
Hope was not anticipating playing Parker against on Saturday, and likely going forward.
“He’s a make-it-happen guy,” Hope said. “He manages the offense pretty good for a guy that doesn’t get any more reps than what he does. … We didn’t necessarily feel like we had to have a three quarterback system. We just had three really good quarterbacks that we thought could help us win ballgames in some facet or another.
“I don’t have any buyer’s remorse about how we’ve manufactured the quarterback position the last couple of years or the last couple of months, the last couple of weeks or the last couple of days.”