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September 12, 2010

Purdue Sunday notebook

Danny Hope said Sunday there's no firm update on the condition of star wide receiver Keith Smith, who sustained a severe injury to his right knee during Purdue's 31-21 win over Western Illinois Sunday.

"They obviously have some concerns it may be a serious injury and they'll take him to see an orthopedic surgeon in the next couple days," Hope said. "They'll do an MRI and some tests on it, but again, there's a lot of reasons for concern."

Smith was injured in the fourth quarter and immediately taken back to the Boilermaker locker room. He re-appeared on the Purdue sideline later, propped up on crutches, before being carted off the field.

Hope said immediately after the game he was "not optimistic" and several players talked openly about moving forward without their senior co-captain and leading receiver.

"You have to go to somebody else," Hope said before Sunday's practice. "We have a lot of good players and it's an excellent opportunity for some other guys to step up."

Hope has spoken to Smith both following the game and again on Sunday.

"He's (doing) about as well as you could expect (emotionally)," Hope said.

Hope said Purdue rotated in No. 2 quarterback Rob Henry against Western Illinois by design.

"Our intentions yesterday were to play Rob Henry more," Hope said. "... We played Rob Henry because we thought he could help us win the game. It was predetermined we'd play him more and we did."

Hope said Marve's play in Week 2 was one of the "real bright spots of the day," specifically citing the quarterback's patience and "pocket poise."

"One thing he has to do in regards to making better decisions is taking care of himself," Hope said. "He gets too many hits and draws some of them on his own. We'll move the pocket some and he'll see an opportunity to pull it down and run with it. He knows where the sticks are and he'll try to get a first down every time, even if it's already first down.

"He needs to protect himself better."

Hope said Marve is "fine" after taking a hit to his shoulder.

Hope went out of his way Sunday to talk about student attendance at Saturday's game.

"We had a ton of students there," Hope said. "They're the difference-maker. It was great to see those guys come out in the droves that they did. I thought that kind of set the tempo for the day in some ways and made a big difference in the day."

Defensive tackle Brandon Taylor was to sit out Sunday's practice after getting hurt on a chop block vs. Western Illinois and not returning.

Hope said he didn't think the injury was "too serious," calling it a "bad sprain."

"We're optimistic we'll get him back pretty quick," Hope said.

Taylor and Marve were two of several players who were banged up.

"Most of the guys who were nicked up yesterday are going to be just fine," Hope said.




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