In less than 10 days, the Purdue Boilermakers will take the field against Eastern Kentucky. The Boilers, who qualified for their first bowl game in four years, look to repeat last season's success.
The road will not be easy, though. Several questions still need to be answered.
First, who will be the starting quarterback for the Boilers on opening day? Will it be either of the two seniors, Robert Marve or Caleb TerBush, or the junior Rob Henry? Henry was slated to be the starting quarterback last season, but tore a ligament in his knee before the season started. Both TerBush and Marve shared the quarterback role last season. And although TerBush was the statistical leader, coach Danny Hope seemed to go to Marve in crunch-time situations.
Second, does early season success relate to late-season success? The Boilers' non-conference schedule is difficult. In just the second week, they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. Two weeks later, they face a tough Marshall team. It is crucial that the Boilers win these opening games in order to have any chance of competing in the Big Ten.
The third question relates to the coaching staff. How will this coaching staff handle the difficult decisions? Hope was given a contract extension in the off-season, and expectations have never been higher for the fourth-year Boilermaker boss.
With that said, let's breakdown the Boilermakers 2012 football schedule.