FORT WAYNE – Purdue football coach Danny Hope read athletic director Morgan Burke’s statement on the state of the program.
But he didn’t give it much thought as the Boilermakers prepare for Saturday’s home game against Penn State.
I read it, but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, Hope said during his weekly teleconference Tuesday. I didn’t try to read between the lines any. I think it’s a pretty generic statement and pretty similar to the one that was posted about this time last year. Our focus is to prepare our team for the football game this Saturday.
So I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the statement.
The Boilermakers were a sleeper pick for the Leaders Division title. But the team fell to 3-5 overall and 0-4 in conference games after Saturday’s 44-28 loss at Minnesota. Burke released a statement Monday, saying in part that the team’s performance has kept us from reaching our goals.
But we have a third of the season left to play, and our focus is to achieve that consistency over the remaining four games, Burke said in the statement. We need to press forward, converting potential into results and having fun playing Boilermaker football.
The final third will begin with Robert Marve as the quarterback. Hope named the senior the starter on Sunday. He replaces Caleb TerBush.
Marve entered in the third quarter of the Minnesota game and went 11 for 19 for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
We had a lot of hopes this year and winning eight games is not a bad season. We have to get the ball rolling, Marve said.
Marve missed two games earlier this season because of a knee injury. The latest Boilermaker battling an injury is defensive tackle Kawann Short. The senior suffered an ankle injury against Minnesota. Short said he is at 90 percent.
I should be good, but I won’t know until Friday, Short said.
A healthy Short would help in the team’s pursuit to turn things around.
Obviously you want to be aware to stop any negative momentum or any downward spiral. But you hope that you surrounded yourself with the right coaches and players that can do something besides just being ordinary when you’re going through tough times. This is a time for extraordinary people, not ordinary people, Hope said.
I believe we have enough extraordinary people around us to still manufacture a good season. There is still a lot to be played for or to play for. There are four games left – a third of the season. We can still win seven regular season ballgames.
I believe there are only 25 times in the history of Purdue football we’ve won seven games or more. We can win seven or eight ballgames still.
So still a lot to play for. We have to focus on getting ready to play this Saturday because our opponent is a tremendous challenge this weekend.