Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ready or Not, Boilers Diving in to Big Ten

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ready or Not, Boilers Diving in to Big Ten

Article excerpt

After getting through the nonconference portion of the schedule with a winning record, the real fun begins for Purdue on Saturday. Michigan and Wisconsin visit Ross-Ade Stadium over the next two weeks, giving the Boilermakers a chance to get off to a fast start in Big Ten action. Asked Tuesday if his players were ready for conference competition, Hope smiled.

"We don't have any choice, do we? That's who's up next," said Hope.

For a Boilermakers (3-1) squad intent on contending for a Big Ten championship this season, some of the biggest hurdles are immediately ahead of them, including a trip to No. 12 Ohio State in three weeks.

"It's not necessarily a do-or-die situation," Hope said of Saturday's game against the Wolverines and their dynamic quarterback Denard Robinson. "There's still a lot of good football to be played and obviously there's a lot of parity in the league.

"(But) it's certainly a great opportunity for our football team to start conference play with one of the top teams in the Big Ten; a team that won 11 games last year.

"But I think from a personnel standpoint and from a performance standpoint, we're certainly ready for Big Ten play."

The good news for Purdue, according to Hope, is that quarterback Caleb TerBush has started to show the promise he had coming into the season.

In last week's 51-41 shootout win over Marshall University, TerBush completed 73 percent (27 of 37) of his passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns. "Any time you can go out and throw for over 300 yards and 70 percent, that's a good week for your quarterback," said Hope, who pointed out that another 91 yards of completions were erased by penalties.

"I think he's gaining some momentum in getting back to the form he was at."

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson sounds as if he could flip a coin to determine whether junior college transfer Cam Coffman or true freshman Nate Sudfeld starts against Michigan State (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) during Saturday's homecoming game at Memorial Stadium.

"There is not a great deal of separation now," said Wilson. "We are splitting the reps 50-50 (at practices). …

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