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Northwestern moves to 5-0 with 44-29 victory vs. Indiana

Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian who threw for 308 yards looks for receiver second quarter Northwestern's 44-29 wover Indianan NCAA college

Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian, who threw for 308 yards, looks for a receiver in the second quarter of Northwestern's 44-29 win over Indiana in an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Cherney)

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Northwestern has one of the best receiving corps in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are so deep at the position that former high school all-American and USC transfer Kyle Prater gets limited playing time, which made what Kain Colter did Saturday against Indiana even more impressive.

Northwestern’s human Swiss army knife not only played receiver for the first time this season in the Wildcats 44-29 win over the Hoosiers at Ryan Field but was Trevor Siemian’s go-to guy from the moment he lined up split wide instead of behind center.

Colter rushed for 161 yards, had 131 receiving yards on nine catches and scored four rushing touchdowns to remind everyone of what was obvious to the crowd of 33,129 by the end of the day. He’s one of the Big Ten’s most dynamic all-around performers and Northwestern’s offense is more potent when he’s playing multiple positions. 

The Wildcats’ 706 total yards broke the school record of 674 set against Wisconsin in 2005. The victory upped their record to 5-0. Indiana fell to 2-2.

Siemian and Colter looked as if they had been playing pitch and catch all season despite Colter making his first reception Saturday. Five times in the first half alone Siemian threw to Colter on third down and each time Colter picked up the first down.

His touchdown scampers were for 8, 8, 15 and 22 yards. The junior finished with 293 all-purpose yards. 

Colter’s quickness makes him difficult to cover, as was apparent as he picked up 16 yards on third-and-7 and 19 yards on third-and-11 on a second-quarter drive that resulted in a 44-yard Jeff Budzien field goal. He later picked up 18 and 13 yards on third downs to set up another field goal later in the half.

Colter has been the No. 1 quarterback and Siemian 1A through the first four games but those roles were reversed in the Big Ten opener for both teams as Siemian did virtually all the passing while completing 22 of 32 passes for 308 yards. He also threw his first interception of the season.

When Indiana scored two quick touchdowns midway through the third period to cut Northwestern’s lead to 27-14, it was Colter who helped answer by catching a 13-yard pass and breaking a 26-yard run on the ensuing drive to set up Venric Mark’s 1-yard plunge. His 22-yard touchdown run with 5:07 left gave the ‘Cats a 15-point lead.

Northwestern led 20-0 at the break. The teams combined to score five touchdowns in the during an eight-minute stretch in the third quarter. Jeff Budzien kicked field goals of 44, 34 and 29 yards for Northwestern.

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