Robert Marve started the season opener for Purdue and did well, throwing for a career high 295 yards and three touchdowns. Sure, it was only against Eastern Kentucky, but he put up the numbers Purdue fans expected when he agreed to transfer before the 2009 season.
Caleb TerBush has started since then and Marve has hurt his knee (again), but Marve has only played in four more games, three since getting hurt, but he has almost matched his totals from last season in 10 games. Marve has thrown 60 of 92 for 597 yards and six TDs against only two interceptions. Last year he was 61 of 109 for 633 yards and four TDs against five picks. In 2010 he was 67 of 99 for 512 yards, three TDs, and four picks.
So yes, Marve is a much more efficient quarterback, but it has not been enough until now. TerBush, for the record, is 98 of 169 for 995 yards and 11 TDs with eight interceptions, three of which have been returned for touchdowns. Marve has the higher efficiency rating and better completion percentage. Yes, some of that has come when Purdue was already trailing by a lot, but it does not take a genius to see the command of the huddle and all the intangibles that Marve brings to the team.
The dream of playing for a Big Ten title is gone. The hope of ruining a team's undefeated season has been wasted Even a chance at beating a ranked team is gone. A bowl game and a better record than last year is still possible. Marve has played better according to almost every metric and for fans like me that have already invested money in seeing these final games Purdue needs to put its best possible chance on the field to win.
If Marve goes 4-0 it will show the error of Danny Hope and Gary Nord in choosing TerBush because Marve has played in all but one conference game. His success could hasten the departure of the coaching staff as a result. The better Marve does, the louder the fans that are against Nord and Hope will be.
The defense still needs to play at the level it did at Ohio State and the playcalling needs to be better, but I am not alone in saying that it is about damn time we tried to get the most talented player at the quarterback position on the field more since this is, in Hope's own words, his most talented team. Danny hope and Gary Nord has better hope Marve doesn't rip off a four-game winning streak because it will only make them look foolish with as much as TerBush struggled against Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.