SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Purdue coach Danny Hope got any suspense out of the way early in the week. Caleb TerBush, suspended for the Boilermakers' season opener, would return as a starter Saturday against Notre Dame.
Call it intuition, a gut feeling or going with the guy who was the best in camp, Hope likes what TerBush brings to the field — size, maturity, decision-making and communication skills.
But wait a minute. Just because TerBush — who sat out last week for violating team rules — starts out against the No. 22 Irish at Notre Dame Stadium doesn't mean he's the only quarterback who'll get to play.
"We'd have played all three last weekend if we'd have had all three available," Hope said of a 48-6 rout of Eastern Kentucky that saw Robert Marve throw three TDS and backup Rob Henry also be effective.
"Certainly plan on it, and that's part of the master plan, if you will," Hope said.
So maybe it's a bit fuzzy, but Notre Dame could be seeing three quarterbacks Saturday. It's a possibility, even if it is a slight one.
"If they play all three quarterbacks it doesn't really have too much of an impact," Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson said. Jackson's explanation was simple: it's his job as a starter to find the ball and stick with the man he's defending — no matter who might be throwing the passes.
"They will run the quarterback more with TerBush than Marve. They will move the pocket more," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said, comparing the two.
If they do switch quarterbacks, Hope says the Boilermakers don't need to make any internal adjustments.
"I don't think the 10 guys in the huddle need any more special training to get aptitude of which quarterback may step in the huddle and call the play," he said.
"Doesn't matter which way we start. We have a plan to utilize these guys in different roles. ..."
Notre Dame's defense was stellar on the other side of the Atlantic last week, coming up with three fumble recoveries — one returned 77 yards for a TD by defensive end Stephon Tuitt — in a 50-10 dismantling of Navy.
Notre Dame also used two quarterbacks, but starter Everett Golson saw most of the action and played well in his college debut.
"I think I did a great job of managing the offense. That's one thing I wanted to make sure I did," said Golson, who completed 12 of 18 passes on a day when Notre Dame unleashed a potent running attack behind Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III.
Golson was sacked once and tossed an interception before turning it over to Andrew Hendrix, but he didn't really get his uniform dirty.