Purdue quarterback Robert Marve is poised to return for a critical three-game stretch that will determine whether the Boilermakers are a legitimate contender in the Big Ten.
Marve, a sixth-year senior, injured his knee for the third time Sept. 8 against Notre Dame, but it is not as severe as two previous knee injuries.
Purdue coach Danny Hope said Marve could share time with starter Caleb TerBush on Saturday against visiting Michigan.
"(Marve) has been able to pitch and catch a little bit in practice. But he hasn't had many team reps, and I think he feels good enough now to be in a position to contribute," Hope said Tuesday. "I believe he'll be ready to help us some this weekend."
Marve had completed 73 percent of his pass attempts this season for 414 yards and four touchdowns and one interception
Purdue (3-1) hosts Michigan and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks before traveling to Ohio State for an Oct. 20 game.
The Wolverines, coming off a bye week, are a disappointing 2-2 heading into Big Ten play.
"It was a good time for us to evaluate what we need to improve on, our fundamentals, our techniques," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will compete Saturday against the person who had arguably the biggest impact on him as a player and as a coach.
Penn State linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden helped mold Fitzgerald into a consensus All-American linebacker at Northwestern, and he later hired Fitzgerald as a graduate assistant at Maryland.
Vanderlinden was the defensive coordinator at Northwestern and the coach at Maryland before joining Penn State as a linebackers coach in 2001.
Fitzgerald, in his seventh season at Northwestern, credited his mentor.
"I have the utmost respect for 'Vandy' as a teacher, as a man and someone that taught me really everything I became as a player," Fitzgerald said. "I'll be forever indebted for that."
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