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Marve cleared, but how much will he play?

Purdue's plan in 2010 called for quarterbacks Robert Marve and Rob Henry to share a backfield at times in games. Marve was the more traditional quarterback, while the athletic Henry provided an X factor with his varied skills.

Then Marve tore his ACL in Week 4. The plan changed.

Last month at Big Ten preseason media days, coach Danny Hope talked about using a two-quarterback system this fall with both Marve and Henry.

But Marve's nonsurgically repaired knee flared up in training camp. Days later, Henry tore his ACL on a noncontact play.

The plan changed again.

Hope announced Tuesday that Marve has been medically cleared to play and likely will return Saturday against Southeast Missouri State.

So what's the plan now at quarterback for the Boilers?

Caleb TerBush will start, as he has in Purdue's first two games. Given Purdue's inordinate number of injuries at quarterback the past two years, Hope doesn't discount the value of having a starter for three consecutive games.

"Some continuity is important to our football team," he said.

But Hope also wants two quarterbacks who can play. And while Marve has played only three plus games since leaving Miami in 2008, his skills and talent still stand out to the coaching staff.

"He can help us win," Hope said. "We want Robert Marve to play, we want him in the games."

It will be interesting to see how the snaps and series play out Saturday. Hope said the game's pattern will dictate how he uses his quarterbacks. Southeast Missouri State would seem to be a good opponent to get Marve acclimated, although it's vital for Purdue to continue developing TerBush, given Marve's injury history.

TerBush has completed 37 of 64 passes for 403 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the first two weeks.

Purdue is off Week 4 before resuming play Oct. 1 against Notre Dame. It's important for Purdue to have a clear idea of what it can expect from TerBush and Marve before Notre Dame's high-powered offense comes to town.