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Still hope for offense?

Doesn't matter that Purdue's offense ranks statistically in the mid-to-lower half of the NCAA in scoring, total offense and passing.

Or that the Boilermakers are without their top running back, receiver and quarterback likely for the rest of the season.

Coach Danny Hope still came out of a loss to Toledo last week thinking "we have a chance to still be pretty good offensively."

Hope points to the potential and talent of skill players O.J. Ross, Cortez Smith, Keith Carlos, Antavian Edison, Rob Henry and Kyle Adams -- at least those were the players he specifically named before Sunday's practice -- as evidence.

Purdue ranks No. 63 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense (374.25), No. 85 in scoring (21.8) and No. 88 in passing (186.3) after the first four weeks.

Offensive coordinator Gary Nord has had to try to manufacture offense with an ever-changing lineup. In Week 2, he lost leading receiver Keith Smith with a knee injury. In Week 3, he hardly had any healthy true running backs. Last week, he had to adjust when Marve went down.

So Hope's consistent talk about "lack of continuity" seems to hold true.

But Purdue also has played two games against Mid-American Conference opponents and another a Football Championship Subdivision school.

I asked Hope whether it's tough to gauge his team's progress against that type of competition.

"Those teams are good teams, too. They have physical players. ... They have 85 scholarships and they have some good guys, too," Hope said. "It's not near the mismatch that some people might think from a physical standpoint. But you have to look from what you see on the film and what you see guys getting a better grasp and a better handle on. We can see some things that you don't where this guy looks more sure about this or these are some things if we can get this guy to do this a little bit better then we can really be good at this or that. I don't really gauge the competition part of it that much.

"People have mentioned about our stats aren't real good. Right now, they're not real good because we're still trying to figure some things out. I don't think the stats are really an indication of what we can do, and I don't think the competition is a gauge of where we're at right now. I think the film and what we see and what we're looking at is the gauge of what we're looking at is a gauge of where we're at right now. I believe we can do well offensively with what we still have left out there from a personnel and talent standpoint. We still could have a lot of redeeming qualities offensively. We did some good things Saturday."

  • Quarterback Robert Marve was expected to get an MRI on his injured left knee today, but there's been no official word from Purdue on the results. Some published reports have indicated Marve tore his anterior cruciate ligament, the same injury he suffered after announcing his decision to transfer to Purdue.
  • Quarterback-turned-receiver Justin Siller told the Lafayette Journal & Courier that X-rays were negative on his foot. Siller was injured in the second half of the Toledo loss. He said he sprained the foot but expects to play against Northwestern on Oct. 9. Purdue has a bye this week.