Kain Colter shines for NU in a loss to Ohio State
BY SETH GRUEN October 6, 2013 12:32AM
EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 05: Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes recovers a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 5, 2013 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 182045477
No. 4 OHIO ST. 40, No. 16 NORTHWESTERN 30
Ohio St. 10 3 7 20 — 40
Northwestern 7 13 3 7 — 30
OSU— FG Basil 27, 12:31.
NU— Colter 9 pass from Siemian (Budzien kick), 8:00.
OSU— Roby 0 blocked punt return (Basil kick), 2:33.
NU— Colter 2 run (Budzien kick), 13:19.
OSU— FG Basil 20, 8:36.
NU— FG Budzien 23, 5:00.
NU— FG Budzien 29, :56.
NU— FG Budzien 32, 10:40.
OSU— Hyde 4 run (Basil kick), 3:54.
OSU— Hyde 2 run (Basil kick), 11:29.
NU— Dickerson 12 pass from Siemian (Budzien kick), 9:10.
OSU— Hyde 7 run (Basil kick), 5:22.
OSU— Bosa recovered fumble in end zone, :00.
TEAM STATISTICS OSU NU
First downs 25 20
Rushes-yards 48-248 43-94
Passing 203 343
Comp-Att-Int 15-26-1 25-31-1
Return Yards 16 5
Punts-Avg. 3-38.0 4-27.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards 1-10 4-42
Time of Possession 29:22 30:38
RUSHING—Ohio St., Hyde 26-168, B.Miller 17-68, R.Smith 3-13, Elliott 1-1, Johnston 1-(minus 2). Northwestern, Mark 17-60, Green 5-19, Colter 8-16, Trumpy 3-7, Vitale 1-2, Team 1-(minus 2), Siemian 8-(minus 8).
PASSING—Ohio St., B.Miller 15-26-1-203. Northwestern, Siemian 13-18-1-245, Colter 12-12-0-98, Team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Ohio St., Corey (Philly).Brown 6-127, Hyde 4-38, D.Smith 3-31, Spencer 2-7. Northwestern, Lawrence 8-149, Mark 4-43, Vitale 4-36, T.Jones 3-23, Jensen 2-37, C.Jones 2-34, Dickerson 1-12, Colter 1-9.
Updated: November 7, 2013 6:56AM
During its nonconference schedule, Northwestern tied a hand behind its back when it came to quarterback Kain Colter.
The Wildcats know Colter, arguably the most athletic player to come through the program, can play every skill position. But they waited and kept things vanilla, knowing that Colter is most effective when teams are playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?” on the fly.
It wasn’t until the 40-30 loss against Ohio State that NU used Colter as he’s most effective — without a definite position.
All week in practice, the Wildcats gave Colter reps at receiver. He spent 30 percent of his practice time Tuesday and Wednesday lined up in the slot.
It was clearly a big part of the game plan.
Surprisingly, Colter spent much of the third quarter on the sideline even though the Wildcats’ offense had been so effective with him all over the field.
Colter, who scored two touchdowns, was wearing a headset at one point on the sideline. But he returned in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know,” Colter said of the time he missed. “All that comes from up top. So whatever personnel group is in or whatever quarterback they want to go with, they go with. I go in when my number is called.”
He didn’t play a down at quarterback in the fourth quarter until the Wildcats had the ball with just over five minutes left, trailing 34-30.
NU moved the ball well in the first half with Colter at receiver and Trevor Siemian at quarterback, but Ohio State got considerably better with its pass rush in the second half.
Unable to afford negative plays, the coaching staff elected to go with the improvisational ability of Colter.
But Colter’s biggest play, a failed fourth-and-one, came in a spot where he has the least experience.
With NU on Ohio State’s 34-yard line and just under three minute to play, Colter tried a sneak but fumbled the snap. He recovered the ball but failed to get the yard.
“Everything kind of just [got] hectic,” Colter said. “I tried to pick it up and get as many yards as I could. I thought I got at least a yard or whatever it was, but I didn’t see the replay and can’t really tell you that.”
It was a close play, so coach Pat Fitzgerald was forced to use a challenge, which ultimately failed and cost the Wildcats a timeout.
The Buckeyes were able to burn clock before punting, and NU got the ball back with only 21 seconds left.