The Purdue football team officially opens the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon when Middle Tennessee visits Ross-Ade Stadium for a noon kick.
Middle Tennessee is coming off of a 6-7 record in 2010 that included a loss in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The Blue Raiders have played in a bowl game in each of the last two seasons.
The Boilermakers haven’t been to a bowl game since 2007 and are trying to return to form after an injury-riddled 4-8 season last year.
Injuries have already played a part in 2011 preparation for the Boilers. Senior Robert Marve, who suffered an ACL tear in the first half of the season last year, has been slow to fully heal and will not be ready to go on Saturday.
The projected starter, Rob Henry, is apparently lost for the 2011 campaign because of a torn ACL suffered in practice less than two weeks ago.
Enter redshirt junior Caleb TerBush, who was officially named the starter by head coach Danny Hope on Tuesday.
TerBush has played in just one game in his career, mop-up duty at Wisconsin in 2009, where he completed four passes for 22 yards. In 2010, TerBush was academically ineligible and served as the team’s scout team quarterback for the entire year.
Unbelievably, TerBush is the fifth Boiler QB to garner a start in less than a calendar year.
Middle Tennessee’s quarterback situation is only slightly more stable as far as experience goes. Redshirt sophomore Logan Kilgore was named the team’s starter two weeks into training camp after beating out junior Jeff Murphy.
Kilgore started in three games for the Blue Raiders in 2010, Murphy started in one.
The Blue Raiders top player may very well be placekicker Alan Gendreau. Gendreau was a first-team all-Sun Belt Conference performer in 2010.
The Boilermakers and the Blue Raiders have never met on the gridiron. Middle Tennessee is 0-3 all-time against teams from the Big Ten conference.