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August 28, 2011Listen: Coach Danny Hope before Sunday's practice
It doesn't come as much of a surprise, but on Sunday afternoon, Coach Danny Hope named junior Caleb TerBush his starting quarterback for next weekend's opener vs. Middle Tennessee State.
Since No. 1 QB Rob Henry went down earlier in the week with a knee injury likely to sideline him for the season, all indications had been that TerBush would move to the top of the depth chart.
Sophomore Sean Robinson is Purdue's only other healthy scholarship quarterback, as senior Robert Marve continues to round back into form following knee surgery last season.
Hope said the determination was made after reviewing film of Saturday's scrimmage.
"We'll go with Caleb TerBush," Hope said, "but we're certainly intent on playing Sean Robinson some as well."
The naming of TerBush as No. 1 under center solidifies a depth chart Hope believes is mostly finalized heading into Game 1.
"I think we're set pretty much on who the starters are," Hope said. "I think it's really important this week, that (practice) yesterday, today and Tuesday brings some clarity to who the other guys are who'll be play in the game, the next guys to get in there."
If his team's first 11 on both sides of the ball is determined already, that means Purdue's set on its renovated lineup on the offensive line, where Rick Schmeig has moved from guard to center; Nick Mondek from right tackle to right guard; and Peters Drey from center to left guard. Sophomore Justin Kitchens projects to start at right tackle.
Hope said Sunday that he "doubts" returning starting guard Ken Plue will be available Saturday. When asked if he had an idea when Plue might be available, Hope said, "Not really."
As Hope and staff finalize their playing rotation for Middle Tennessee, decisions will be made on numerous freshmen.
Hope said Sunday that running back Akeem Hunt will be "hard to keep off the field."
"Every day, he'll out-run our defense the whole length of the field," Hope said. "He's very fast. ... He's a guy who may get ready to play and start working in at some point in time."
The coach also mentioned linebacker Armstead Williams, receiver/return man Raheem Mostert, DB Taylor Richards and running back/fullback Brandon Cottom as those freshmen in position to contribute.
Junior college transfers Kaulana Judd, who's practiced at both inside linebacker and outside, and Sterling Carter, a tight end, were also mentioned by Hope.
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