No. 24 ranked Wildcats take Big Ten home opener; still undefeated

By Nader Ihmoud

Kain Colter displayed his versatility for the Northwestern University Wildcats in their 44-29 victory against the Indiana University Hoosiers on Sept. 29 at Ryan Field.

Colter usually starts for the Wildcats under center but played a majority of the Big Ten conference opener as a halfback and wide receiver. Trevor Siemian, Northwesterns’ primary quarterback in the matchup, located his fellow gun–slinger nine times for 131 yards.

“He did a good job shaking loose and beating his guy,” Siemian said. “I don’t think they had an answer for Cain all day.”

According to Colter and the Wildcats’ head coach Pat Fitzgerald, the team has been working on schemes that would put their starting quarterback in the receiving position for several weeks.

“This is something we had been preparing for, and we decided to bring it out this game,” Colter said. “We just went out there and executed.”

Since he had seen similar action at both position during the 2011 campaign, he was very comfortable with his role against the Hoosiers, Colter said.

It did not end there for Colter and the Wildcats. Their rushing attack dominated all afternoon. Colter’s 13 attempts for 161 yards along with his four touchdown rushes helped the team gain 396 yards on the ground.

Venric Mark, Northwestern’s starting running bck, netted 139 yards on 29 attempts.

Despite gaining over 700 yards in total, the Wildcats allowed the Hoosiers to make a game of it in the second half by failing to execute as a team.

“You lose a turnover battle, you end up giving up explosive pass plays and kickoff return yards like we did, you know, we dodged a bullet today,” Fitzgerald said.

The Wildcats turned the ball over three times against the Hoosiers and they gave up a 96-yard touchdown return on a kickoff.

Northwestern lead by as much as 27-0, but Indiana responded with 21-10 run to end the 3rd quarter. The Hoosiers brought the game within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Indiana’s halfback D’Angelo Roberts.

Colter put the game out of reach with five minutes remaining in the game, when he escaped Indiana’s defense for a 22-yard touchdown run.

“He’s unbelievable. As dynamic a young man maybe in this conference,” Fitzgerald said.

The Wildcats travel to Penn State, on Oct. 6, to take on the Nittany Lions.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re in a very hostile environment a week from now, our first big ten road test,” Fitzgerald said. “If we don’t get better we are going to get blown out.”