Big Ten spring game recap: Purdue

The fourth installment of the spring game recap series takes a look at Purdue, which, despite a rash of injuries, still played the Black & Gold Game on Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Purdue had none of its top running backs available for the game, so the quarterbacks received plenty of work, which is probably good in the long run. Robert Marve might be the favorite to win the starting quarterback job, but Caleb TerBush had a more impressive performance Saturday, completing 13 of 18 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. TerBush opened and closed the scoring with touchdown strikes to Sean Matti and Antavian Edison, while Marve tossed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Cortez Smith.

Marve, who alternated drives with TerBush, completed 11 of 22 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Quarterback Rob Henry completed 12 of 19 passes for 82 yards and an interception.

"They were the most impressive part of the scrimmage," head coach Danny Hope said of his QBs.

All-Big Ten selection Keith Smith, who missed spring ball following wrist surgery, figures to be Purdue's No. 1 wide receiver this fall, but another Smith will be a big factor in the passing attack. Cortez Smith recorded six receptions for 136 yards in the game.

The defense started a bit slow but held the running game in check and recorded two interceptions and 11 tackles for loss

Other nuggets:

  • Kawann Short could be a big help in Purdue's pass rush this fall after recording two sacks and a pass breakup in the game. The Boilers need a second threat to complement All-Big Ten defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, and Short might be the answer.

  • Another defensive end, Adam Brockman, made his mark by intercepting a Henry pass in the first half.

  • Running back Ralph Bolden told The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier that he'll undergo surgery May 4 to repair a torn ACL. He's not sure whether he'll get back in time for the season, saying, "I'm not rushing back. I'm trying to come back healthy."