Nov. 2, 2004 wire reports

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton is questionable for Saturday's game against Iowa with an injured left hip.


Orton was injured in last week's 13-10 loss at Northwestern. He was benched for backup Brandon Kirsch in the third quarter, partly because he was injured and partly because he was ineffective.

Purdue coach Joe Tiller said Tuesday he is in no hurry to announce a starter for Saturday.

"We could hold it as long as game time," Tiller said. "We will delay the decision as long as possible."

Orton said he was feeling much better Tuesday than he was against Northwestern, and he thought he would be ready to go for the game in his home state.

"You look at the progress I've made from Saturday until now, it's a lot better," he said. "If I can play and help the team, then I'm going to play through some pain. But I'm not going to be out there and hurting the team this week."

After spearheading Purdue's best start since 1945, the one-time Heisman hopeful's play has fallen off. Orton was just 15-for-33 for 143 yards, a touchdown and an interception last week against Northwestern, Purdue's third straight loss.

Orton was the prime reason the Boilermakers started the season 5-0, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 1,642 yards, 18 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Over the past three games -- all Purdue defeats -- he has completed just 50 percent of his passes for 591 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

"It's been three rough weeks," Orton said. "It seems like everything's kind of falling apart a little bit."

The Associated Press News Service

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