2011 Purdue Boilermakers Football
Duel-Quarterback System looming at Purdue
If Purdue’s 2010 injury plagued season taught Danny Hope and his staff anything about his team, it’s that he’s got depth and talent at the quarterback position.
Battling for this year’s top spot on the depth chart appears to be senior Robert Marve and sophomore Rob Henry. Hope made it clear, however, that no matter what the outcome, both quarterbacks will be utilized.
“We’re not going to have talent sitting on the sidelines,” Hope said in an interview during the team’s spring workouts.
With Hope’s job likely on the line after two straight losing seasons, a duel-quarterback system may Purdue’s best chance of returning to postseason play.
Marve was the lead play-caller in 2010 before suffering a season ending ACL tear in a late September contest against Toledo. With limited experience throwing the football in a game scenario, Henry was summoned into the starting role.
After becoming Purdue’s starter, Henry led the squad in rushing yards and total touchdowns, racking up 547 yards on the ground and finding the endzone 12 times. Henry also flourished in his first career start, leading the Boilers to a 20-17 victory over Northwestern. In that contest, Henry trekked for 132 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown in his debut.
One thing is for sure, if Hope plans to implement a duel-quarterback system at Purdue for the 2011 season, he couldn’t have asked for a better pair. Henry and Marve complement one another perfectly, filling the voids in each other’s game.
Marve has one of the most unique skill sets at the quarterback spots in the Big Ten Conference. He has a strong arm and is strikingly accurate on the move and outside of the pocket. The senior is very elusive and has the speed and athleticism to turn up field and become a factor on the ground.
Henry, on the other hand, struggles with his throwing accuracy but compensates for this with his size, speed, strength and power. With a 6’2, 200 lbs. frame, Henry shows several similarities to former Florida standout Tim Tebow. Henry has unfathomable speed for a man of his size and possesses the strength to push through the defense and break tackles.
Individually, each of these players has the capability to lead the Boilers to their first bowl appearance since 2007. Paired together and utilized in the right scenarios, Henry and Marve have the potential to have Purdue contesting for the Big Ten Leader’s Division title and a shot at the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in December.
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