Heart of Dallas Bowl: No ACL, no problem for Purdue's Robert Marve

The Purdue quarterback has played the past eight games without the ligament supporting his left knee. He tore it in the Boilermakers' second game of the season, returned less than a month later and ultimately led his team to the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 29, 2012
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photo - Purdue quarterback Robert Marve throws against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: INMC107
Purdue quarterback Robert Marve throws against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: INMC107

Then, to have that extra year granted, be named the starter and tear his knee for a third time?

“It was very frustrating at the time, mentally taxing,” he said. “I thought I played great the first game, I was playing great against Notre Dame, and then when the knee went ... I thought I was done for the year.”

Doctors, though, determined that even though the ligament had torn, the rest of the cartilage and ligaments in his knee was stable.

Marve returned three games later, then became instrumental down the stretch. Purdue needed to win its last three games to get bowl eligible, and in those contests, Marve completed 68 percent of his passes, throwing for 787 yards and seven touchdowns.

“That's like the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life,” cornerback Ricardo Allen said of Marve playing through his injury. “If I'm sick, if I'm hurtin' ... all I do is think about him. If he can play without an ACL, I can play with anything.”

Marve is just happy to be ending his college career on the field instead of the sideline.

“It's humbled me,” he said of his career's twists and turns. “I know it sounds crazy, but it's matured me so much to the point where I know that football's a blessing.”

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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