Yesterday was yet another of many frustrating days for Purdue football. One of the very few bright spots was seeing Robert Marve jog in on a bad knee and immediately lead Purdue down the field into scoring position. Under Caleb TerBush Purdue had gone punt, punt, interception or touchdown, fumbled kickoff, field goal, punt, touchdown on a 36 yard drive, punt, punt. That's five punts and a mistake that handed the opposition seven points while Purdue barely gained 100 yards.
Enter Marve, who broke a stagnant offense that had gained 17 yards in the second half to that point and he immediately led a 13 play 58 yard drive for a field goal. While I disagreed with kicking a field goal down 21 points at home early in the fourth quarter, it was still more than TerBush had done in quite awhile. In addition to the fact that Marve was cheered when he trotted in from the sidelines it looked like there would be a chance that he could start this week in the biggest game of the season.
#Purdue coach Danny Hope: TerBush is the No. 1 QB and Marve No. 2— mike carmin (@carminjc) October 7, 2012
Hope on QB's: "We'll make a decision whether or not we'll have Robert in the No. 2 position as a backup or ready to rotate in" #Purdue— mike carmin (@carminjc) October 7, 2012
I am dumbfounded by this, but Hope rationale gets even worse as he goes on:
Hope said he was impressed with what Marve did, but has "minimize some errors as well." #Purdue— mike carmin (@carminjc) October 7, 2012
Minimize his errors? Marve was 5 of 8 for 43 yards and an interception. One incompletion was from the receiver cutting off on his route when he was supposed to go deep. The interception hit the receiver in stride and bounced off of his hands into the waiting arms of the safety. That's two of his incompletions at the foot of the receiver.
Running the ball, Marve had three carries for a yard, with one rush being where he was forced out of the pocket and he had to take a loss out of bounds with no one open.
These are the mistakes that are so egregious that he could not get the starting job. TerBush, meanwhile, threw a 4th and 2 pass three feet over O.J. Ross' head that was tipped and returned for a touchdown. He also took an 11-yard sack, fumbled a snap, and was, in general, awful on third down.
I know I am not a football coach and I never played the game, but it seems to me that a huge mistake that leads directly to points is much bigger than one at the foot of another player.
It gets worse:
Hope: "Caleb is our most efficient quarterback. That's where it's at right now." Says it's a result of Marve's injuries and missing reps— mike carmin (@carminjc) October 7, 2012
Really? TerBush is more efficient than Marve? Let's look at the statistics:
Marve: 3 games, 46 of 62, 71.9% completion rate, 457 yards, four TD, two INT, Rating: 146.2
TerBush: 4 games, 67 of 105, 63.8% completion rate, 636 yards, Eight TD, five INT, Rating: 130.3
How on earth is that more efficient? Are TerBush's 46 yards rushing and a TD against only nine yards for Marve really that much of a difference? You have a Quarterback efficiency rating that takes a number of factors into account (including the moon phases and tides for all I know) and even it says that Marve is statistically the more efficient quarterback. That means saying TerBush is more efficient is a blatant falsehood!
Marve is 16 points higher on the effieciency rating, completes 8% more of his passes, averages a full yard more per pass attempt, and has three fewer interceptions. What am I missing here? It is an honest question.
I just don't see what the coaches see in TerBush instead of Marve. Even if you throw out the statistics Marve looks like the more competent quarterback. He has the better arm and has that presence that can't be quantified on the field. Yes, he like was not going to lead us back from a 21 point deficit in 17 minutes, but at least you felt like he had more of a chance than TerBush. I know I am not alone in that thinking.
Unfortunately, we ‘re not the ones making the decision here. We're going into the biggest Purdue football game since The Fumble this coming Saturday and TerBush is starting short of an injury in practice, sudden illness, or alien abduction. I don't think TerBush has any plans to visit Roswell, New Mexico this week, so we'll get behind him because we have to.
That's not the best vote of confidence.