Danny Hope wants to give Purdue fans a good show in the Black & Gold Game on Saturday. Whether he has enough healthy players to do so remains to be seen.
Injuries have hit the Boilermakers especially hard this spring, as 20 players and 10 starters have missed part or all of spring practice. Purdue was so banged up a few weeks ago that Hope postponed two practices, which will be made up next week after the spring game.
But the immediate focus is the spring game and what Purdue can do at Ross-Ade Stadium. What happens Saturday hinges heavily on another scrimmage Purdue will hold later today.
"It's a big scrimmage for us," Hope said of today's event. "Maybe not the amount of reps, but it's a traditional scrimmage here, and it depends who's standing after that's done. That could affect what type of scrimmage we have in the spring game. Right now, I intend on splitting the team in half and having the two teams go out and play a game and have a lot of fun with it.
"But I won't be sure until after we get done with the scrimmage we're going to have [Wednesday]."
About the only positive from the injuries is they haven't affected the positions where Purdue needed the most evaluation this spring, namely quarterback, offensive line and secondary. All three quarterbacks -- Robert Marve, Caleb TerBush and Rob Henry -- have remained healthy, and the only players out on the line and in the secondary are veterans like guard Ken Plue and safety Albert Evans, who don't need to prove much to the coaches.
"The areas we had the greatest concerns at, we're getting plenty done," Hope said. "We didn't start off fast team-wise. We were a little disjointed, didn't have quite the continuity as you want to have ... but I don't think it really affected the areas we needed to develop the most."