Let the guessing begin on two players capable of playing major roles in Saturday’s Penn State-Purdue game at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Penn State ‘F’ tight end Kyle Carter and Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short both suffered ankle injuries in losses last weekend.
Carter injured his ankle late in a 35-23 loss to Ohio State. Short suffered his injury in the first quarter of a 44-28 loss at Minnesota.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien called Carter’s injury a “day-to-day” thing. O’Brien said he will know more about the extent of the injury later this week.
“He seems to be doing OK,” O’Brien said.
Carter is second on the Nittany Lions with 35 receptions for 441 yards. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound redshirt freshman has quickly adapted to becoming a primary receiving option in O’Brien’s offense.
Purdue coach Danny Hope said Tuesday that he’s optimistic Short will play Saturday.
“It’s not a green light yet,” Hope said. “But I’m a little more encouraged from the report (Tuesday morning) than I was two days ago.”
Short injured the ankle hitting Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson. He said Tuesday the ankle is 90 percent recovered. A final determination on his status will be made Friday.
“I got a hit on the quarterback, and I felt like I tweaked it a little bit,” Short said. “I don’t feel like it’s anything bad or anything that will stop me. The swelling is down. I feel pretty good.”
The 6-foot-3, 315-pound senior is Purdue’s top defensive player. He leads the Boilermakers with nine tackles for losses despite being double-teamed throughout the season.
Making the switch
Hope isn’t messing around with his quarterback situation.
Purdue listed sixth-year senior Robert Marve as the starter on its depth chart. Marve replaced starter Caleb TerBush against Minnesota and completed 5 of 18 passes for 49 yards. TerBush has started the past seven games. Purdue is 2-5 in the stretch.
“Caleb and those around him at times didn’t play as well as we’d have liked them to play,” Hope said. “As a result, Caleb didn’t play as well as he has or as well as we expected him to play.”
Marve has an interesting story. He started his career at Miami and transferred to Purdue in 2009. Marve has suffered three torn ACLs, including one against Notre Dame on Sept. 8.
Making the comparison
After splitting time with Rob Bolden the past two years, Penn State senior Matt McGloin leads the Big Ten with 2,115 passing yards.
Hope said McGloin reminds him of former Boilermaker quarterback Joey Elliott, who completed 267 of 433 passes for 3,026 yard as a senior in 2009. Elliott only completed 27 passes his first three years at Purdue.
“I thought he was a legitimate all-Big Ten candidate at the quarterback position based on his performance alone,” Hope said of Elliott. “He wasn’t quite as sexy, if you will, in regards to being a fan favorite coming into his senior year. I think Matt McGloin is a lot like Joey Elliott. He doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves for being the quality football player that he is.”
Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter @cdtguy.