WEST LAFAYETTE – Keith Smith already is Purdues Mr. Versatility, having lined up at slot and outside receiver, fullback, split back and tight end this season.
But there might be even more in store.
Smith wore a green jersey in practice Tuesday. Thats the color usually reserved for quarterbacks.
Smith came into the program as a quarterback, but was converted to a wide receiver and has developed into the teams top option there. The jersey change doesnt mean Smith is taking over for starting quarterback Joey Elliott, but Smith could get some snaps – in the Wildcat formation.
If we were to run the Wildcat, I feel that I would be the No. 1 choice to run it, he said. But we havent decided to run that.
Coach Danny Hope said the Wildcat is in Purdues offensive package but that its in every offense.
Its nothing new to the game, but its a great edge in some ways and people are looking at it saying, Ive got another great player on my football team that I can put the ball in his hands some, too, without having to throw it to him, Hope said. Its a way to spread the wealth around. Its a great tool, but what they are doing is nothing really new. Its the same plays (just different) personnel.
For the second consecutive season, Purdue will take a three-game losing streak into its game against Northwestern. Last season, the Boilermakers didnt come close to bouncing back against the Wildcats, losing 48-26 in Evanston, Ill.
Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka has completed a Big Ten-best 72 percent of his passes for 1,049 yards and five TDs in four games.
Purdues pass defense, which led the league last season, is ninth this season, allowing 244 yards per game.
Theyve got a great scheme, great system, and he just runs the show like its supposed to be run, cornerback Brandon King said. He gets the ball out really quickly, doesnt make a lot of mistakes and makes a lot of big plays for his team.
Left guard Zach Reckman will be back in the starting lineup this week, Hope said. Reckman missed last weeks game against Notre Dame after being suspended by the Big Ten for a late hit on the final play against Northern Illinois.