Q&A With Hammer and Rails

Feb 22, 2012; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers mascot Purdue Pete acts like he is playing a guitar during a timeout against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Mackey Arena. Purdue defeats Nebraska 83-65. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

As promised, here's a Q&A with TMill of SBNation's Purdue blog, Hammer and Rails.

You can find my (and Keith Arnold's) answers to TMill's questions here.

We discuss optimism, musical quarterbacks, and Purdue defenders not named Kawann Short.

Let's jump in.

1. One game in, how do you feel about your team? Is optimism riding high or are you bracing for impact?

I was rising high until Danny Hope announced last night he is going with Caleb tarbush as the starter and he plans to rotate quarterbacks between Robert Marve, TerBush, and Rob Henry. To me, the worst thing we can do is go into Notre Dame Stadium with no clear No. 1 quarterback. It simply does not make any sense to me.

At least the defense performed extremely well and did not allow any points after we committed five turnovers. Special teams was up and down with two blocked kicks, but it also had two of its own blocked. Things are going to need to be much tighter against a Notre Dame team notorious for making Purdue pay dearly for its mistakes.

2. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible and Wisconsin squeaking by a FCS school in Week 1, the Leaders Division looks like it's up for grabs. How do you feel about Purdue's chances to sneak into the Big Ten Title Game?

I think we have an excellent chance, but again, I feel like we need to pick a quarterback and stay with him do so. Honestly, the Notre Dame game should tell us a lot about our chances. If we come out and get rolled again I don't think anybody gives us much of a chance against Wisconsin or Michigan if we can't be competitive against Notre Dame. Purdue has to be at least competitive. If it wins then I think people will really get excited.

3. Despite a very efficient game against EKU, Danny Hope decided to bench Robert Marve in favor of Caleb TerBush for the game on Saturday. What are your thoughts on this and do you expect them both to see action? What kind of skillsets do the two QBs bring to the table?

They are both going to play because Danny Hope is determined to play multiple quarterbacks. Personally, I don't like it. Marve was very sharp and looked better than anyone we've had at the position at any time since Joey Elliott. Marve was throwing extremely well on the run and reading defenses well. TerBush is a little more steady and not as much of a big play threat, but he doesn't turn the ball over much. Marve is also the more mobile quarterback.

We can also expect to play Rob Henry some as well, at least in a wildcat role. He is still rusty after missing last season with a torn ACL, but he is the best runner of the three and can make a big play happen with his feet.

4. Notre Dame fans know (or at least should know) the name Kawann Short on Purdue's defense, but what other names should Irish fans listen for on Saturday? And who are the playmakers on offense (besides the quarterbacks) that the Irish need to stop if they want to top the Boilermakers?

Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson are two of the top cornerbacks in the league. Allen will be especially thankful that Michael Floyd is gone after he was abused by him last season. I also like the emergence of Ryan Russell at defensive end and Will Lucas at linebacker. Lucas had a pick in the last game and Russell is starting to look like our next great defensive end.

5. Any predictions for the game?

I was feeling really good until the QB announcement, but now I fear that Hope is getting in his own way again. I do think our defense is much improved, so it comes down to turnovers. If we hold on to the ball I like our chances.

***

Thanks again to TMill! Stop by Hammer and Rails for more info on the Boilermakers!

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