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NCAA Football Big 10 FootballPurdue Boilermakers

Purdue Boilermakers Football: Quarterback Rob Henry Must be a Key Contributor in 2013

Rob Henry Purdue Boilermakers

Byron Hetzler- USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers have several changes for 2013, including a new head coach in Darrell Hazell and a new starting quarterback. Rob Henry now steps into the role that he once held back in 2010. If Purdue is going to have any success this year, it’s going to fall on Henry’s shoulders.

Back in 2010, Henry started seven games and played in a total of 11. During his time under center, he didn’t exactly impress. He threw for 996 yards with just eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Henry was dealt a major blow in 2011 when he had to sit out the entire season due to a knee injury.

Henry returned healthy in 2012 but saw limited action, attempting just 38 passes and throwing for 213 yards and three touchdowns. He lost the starting job to Robert Marve, who transferred from Miami, and was actually relegated to third-string behind Caleb TerBush, who also had starting experience.

Now that both Marve and TerBush have moved on, Henry has an opportunity in his senior season to finally show what he can do. He does have some big shoes to fill though, as the Boilermakers had a solid passing offense last season, ranking third in the Big Ten with 238.5 yards per game.

Unfortunately for Henry, 2013 is somewhat of a rebuilding year for Purdue on offense, as several key starters from last season are gone.

Leading receivers Antavian Edison and O.J. Ross, who combined for over 1,000 yards, have both moved on. That leaves Gary Bush, who had 360 yards and seven touchdowns last year, as the team’s top receiver. Akeem Shavers, who led the team in rushing and was third on the team in receiving, is also gone. Akeem Hunt, who only rushed for 335 yards and two touchdowns last year, takes over as the starting running back. That means that the pressure will be placed on Henry to lead the Purdue offense.

On defense, Purdue returns eight starters, but unfortunately, it’s a defense that ranked 11th in the Big Ten in total defense.

2013 is sure to have its ups and downs for the Boilermakers, and if there is going to be any success at Purdue this season, Henry is going to have to step up and play a major role.

Barry Leonard Jr. is a Big 10 Football Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on  Twitter @barryleonardjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your  network on Google.