The 2012 QB Thing

I can’t believe I actually exhibited the patience to wait for this post until today. As ‘Cats fans exited Ryan Field whooping it up, high fiving and shaking their heads in disbelief in the defense we had seen, you could overhear conversations.  You know the kind. The ones where the guy speaking is talking loud enough for those outside his circle of friends to hear, almost throwing the bait out there for complete strangers to tap in to the conversation. They were similar conversations that occurred in most of your respective season ticket areas.  It probably sounded something like this:

“Colter is such a great athlete and man is he a threat with the run, but it’s clear that Siemian gives us that downfield threat.”

Perhaps there was a variation that went something like this: “I wonder when Siemian is going to come in, because it is clear the offense just isn’t clicking with Kain tonight.”

Let’s take a quick context check, though. We’ve played a whopping two games. Just look at the emotional swings in a week. Fans were in quasi-panic mode after a win over Syracuse because of the second half collapse. Fitz was effusive in his praise of getting out of there with a win and promised we’d be better. He delivered. Yet, as fans rejoiced after a stellar defensive performance, Fitz took the entire team not named Venric Mark to task.  We’re two games in and to use football vernacular we’ll completing the first quarter of the season this weekend. That would be a logical time to step back and discuss the 2012 QB thing we have going on, but the chatter has been too loud for me not to at least share my opinion and try to capture the essence of what I believe to be a pervasive thought.

I want to be clear about where I’m going here. I’m a huge Kain Colter fan. I think he represents everything you want in a team player and he’s got simply silly athletic ability and game smarts. The guy has that unteachable “winner” gene that you can feel exuding from him as if it’s some type of mystical halo of “thinks will be alright, relax”  when you get within five feet of him. He deserves to be on the field as much as humanly possible.

Trevor Siemian is earning his stripes with back to back game-saving drives in consecutive fourth quarter drives. This is hardly a panic bell, but rather an attempt to address the good-to-have fortune of having two solid QBs, each with their own strengths.

Regardless if  you were in person for the Vanderbilt game or watched on TV, you could just feel we were out of sync on offense in the first half. Each change of possession and I was casting my gaze at the huddle around Fitz, straining to see if #13 was coming in. It became something you could feel in our section was becoming more collective with each passing stalled drive. However, the first drive of the second half was a beauty by Kain. He got in to rhythm, made manageable throws and marched us downfield. A Brandon Vitabile hold killed the drive and we walked away with three points. OK, maybe he’s found it, I thought.

The next couple of series seemed to revert to first half productivity. When Trevor came in again, he didn’t really track. The second series he came in didn’t produce much more. By now, you could see Fitz toying with the Vanderbilt coaches. Before each change of possession he would have both Kain and Trevor in the huddle.  He’d wait until Vandy’s “D” took the field and then our QB would march out. I thought “man, this has to be tough from Vandy’s coaches standpoint.” Then the 4th quarter started. The light switch named Venric Mark took the first Siemian pass and converted it in to an electrifying 86-yard TD. Or so we thought. It was called back by the refs for stepping out of bounds and Trevor had been leveled by a late hit so the consolation was we were already near mid-field. Then, game on. Trevor went to work and you could just feel the defense on its heels. Venric hand-offs on play action were producing good results. The receivers seemed to be picking it up a step.  We marched down the field and Venric would cap off a great drive with a rushing TD.  We had the lead. You know the rest. We scored 17 4th quarter points, highlighted by what many will point to as the play of the game. It was third and 15. Vandy knew we were going deep.

NU knew it. You and I knew it.

Trevor Siemian has been clutch in back-to-back 4th quarters

Still, Siemian threw a 30-yard, perfectly placed ball, in a driving rain, smack dab in the hands of Rashad, just like old times in Olympia, Florida.  The fact that Rashad got his second foot down as he got popped and lost the ball is likely one of the many reasons  Fitz called out the receivers. That’s not the point here. Trust me, I love Kain Colter as much as the next guy, but I’m not sure he makes that throw (or many other QBs for that matter). As if to keep the story arc in tact, Colter would re-emerge after a drive that had Trevor’s seemingly one mystifying pass per game.  Clearly, after we had put up 3 to regain the lead at 16-13 and recover a fumble with under three minutes to go, Colter was inserted to run three plays, milk the clock and try and get a first down to end the game (Vandy had two timeouts in its holster, so we needed a first down to end the game).  Well, no offense, but if you know that, they know that. So, there we were, all doing basic math calculations on how much time we could burn off AND whether or not you punt based on the field position on what surely would be a run on 3rd and 19.  Kain Colter flexed his magic.  He slowly rushed to his left and seeing the overpursuit, cut back on a dime, found a seam and was off to paydirt to do what NU has failed to do so many times – step on an opponent’s throat.  The play was unreal. It was dazzling, smart, athletic and left you shaking you head.

It also setup the following opinion of mine.  I can break it down in to a few bullet points:

• Trevor Siemian is a very good downfield passer. He gives us a better ability to stretch defenses that will, in turn, open up the running game for Venric Mark.

• Kain Colter needs to be on the field as much as possible. I would argue 100% of the time. He’s as dynamic a playmaker as you could want.  And, he needs to be taking some snaps under center.

• Is there a way to have Trevor be taking 2/3 of the snaps and Kain 1/3 of the snaps, while keeping Kain on the field as close to 100% of the time as possible?

Talent fortunes like this are the things I imagine that offensive coordinators dream of at night. We want both to be taking a significant minimum number of snaps each per game. The prospect of having to prepare for both is a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. Especially when you mix in our ability to go in to fifth gear, no huddle.

The counter argument to this is as simple as the fan base fear in the off-season. That is, Trevor = pass, Kain = run.   Well, you saw a glimpse of it on Saturday when Trevor handed off to Mark on what seemed like a pretty good presnap read and we had the “D” guessing. Plus, Kain is capable of being a solid short to mid-range passer.  Kain is clearly a  super smart guy and well-prepared as well and can read cheats that will enable him to keep defenses on their heels. I’ve heard from so many of you this week and folks, self included, have started to role play our lives as Mick McCall.

Is it possible to create some wrinkles in our “O” that all for a 2-back set that includes Kain and Venric? Can we rotate Kain within the same series from RB to WR to QB? Simply put, as great as Venric has played, I still believe the separating strength of our team is our wide receiver unit. Venric has been phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, but I worry about how long he can take the pounding he did on Saturday and stay healthy.  Trevor gives us the best chance to really stretch the “D” and take some heat off of Venric to be our workhorse.

We’re in a brave new world as NU fans. For the first time in the Mick McCall era, we’re not statistically slanted in the offensive category with the pass. Rather, we are an anemic 99th in the NCAA in passing with just  173 passing yards per game (11th in B1G).  Kain has averaged 88.5 ypg in the air, while Trevor has 84.5 ypg in the air. On the ground we’re putting up 157.5 ypg which is a slightly below average 67th in the NCAA. Our total offense of just 330.5 ypg is a woeful 95th in the NCAA. Yet, thanks to the “D”, we’re averaging a respectable 32.5 ppg (54th NCAA).

Here are Trevor and Kain’s stats to date, both this year and career-wise:

Kain Colter –2012, Passing –  21/36 (58.3%), efficiency 117.97, 177 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT (long: 21 yds) 88.5 avg/game

Kain Colter – 2012, Rushing – 27 car, 134 yds (loss 28), 106 net total yds, 2 TD, 53 ypg (long 29 yds)

Kain Colter –Career, Passing – 18 games – efficiency: 138.58, 79/127 (62.2%), 888 yds, 8 TD, 2 INTs, 49.3 avg/game

Kain Colter-Career, Rushing – 18 games – 191 car, 903 net yds (136 negative), 4.7 ypc, 13 TDs, 50.2 ypg

Trevor Siemian – 2012, Passing – 2 games – Effic. 131.47 – 18/27 (66.6%), 177 yds, 1 TD,O INT (long: 34 yds)  84.5 avg/game

Trevor Siemian, 2012, Rushing –  3 car, -1 yds

Trevor Siemian Career, Passsing 10 games played – Effic. 152.64 – 34/53 (64.2%) 425 yds, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 42.5 avg/game

I thought these stats might be helpful for context.  The great news here is that both guys are genuinely team-first guys, who could care less about stats, and care all about the “w”. You’d be silly to think they’re not competitive as hell and want to take as many snaps as they can. That’s the DNA of any great competitor. You wonder what Trevor could do if given a flip-flop in terms of snaps. Would he develop even better rhythm and rapport with the cadre of options at WR? Would we be able to dial up much more downfield action taking advantage of our speed and height? How would we be able to punch teams in the mouth with a dose of Trevor’s aerial act and Kain’s ability to be a triple-threat under center? For a team that is near the bottom in passing and total yards, I sure as heck have a ton of optimism about the possibilities. How about you?

Sippin’ Props

There have been a couple of great posts recently over at SippinOnPurple, specifically on our kicking game and special teams. Check out how Herman has really put our 2012 special teams under the spotlight and offerred some historical context.  Recently, he profiled Jeff Budzien and gave the PAT unprecedented love in NU circles. Don’t worry, he already tried to jinx Budzien and his perfect career PAT streak stayed in tact.

LTP Flag Project

Hats off to Joseph M. (McC ’80) who helped us put one of the last few states on the LTP Northwestern “N” Flag Project Map. We’ll be adding this shot of Lake Champlain, VT. He also has the ingenuity award for taking a photo at Stephen Colbert’s faux alma mater as he was dotting New England states off the map. More on that later.

Joseph M. (McC '80) puts Burlington, VT area on the LTP map!

So, I acted on a great idea from one of our readers to add the key blogs of 2012 non-conference opponents to the blog roll at the bottome of the page. And….that’s what I get for messing around with code. I’ve put out a 911 to Brian D. for some help, so stay tuned.

  • Just the Facts

    First, let’s state the obvious. Colter is a better runner, and Siemian has the stronger arm. What has impressed me about Colter is his leadership, poise, and running ability. He has been more disciplined this year and has tried to stay in the pocket and run through his progressions. He hasn’t made too many mistakes on where to throw the ball (different from accuracy which I’ll get to later). Siemian isn’t as good a runner (few are) but he is mobile. He seems in command when he enters the game and knows the offense. He has made good decisions as well. In addition to his strong arm, he has had great touch.
    Siemian’s touch and greater accuracy to me are the difference makers. If the only difference was arm strength, that alone wouldn’t give the edge. Colter doesn’t have the cannon and isn’t as much of a threat to throw downfield, which in itself, again, isn’t the difference maker. But the Cats offense depends on accuracy, and right now his completion percentage isn’t high enough. Some of this may be drops, but Siemian is throwing to the same receivers. Colter’s accuracy doesn’t have to be Persa-like (after all Persa holds the record). A 58.3% completion percentage won’t cut it in the Cats ball control passing game (Siemian is at 66.7%). On the rare occasions when Colter has thrown downfield, he has had open receivers, only to miss them with the pass.
    If Fitz wants to leave Colter as the starter, that is fine, but let’s work in Siemian more often and before late in the game when a comeback is needed. Their skill sets complement one another. I know many don’t like the two-headed quarterback monster and the old saying that if you have two quarterbacks you have none. But here I think it is a question of having two quality quarterbacks, both of whom are worthy starters. Use their talents throughout the game.
    Finally, I just have to believe there are some plays in the playbook that call for both Colter and Siemian in the backfield at the same time. I cannot wait until the Cats run those plays. Having to be prepared for Siemian throwing down field, and handoff to Colter (who is almost as elusive as Mark), or the possibility of Colter taking the handoff and throwing, would give defense fits (or is it Fitz, pardon the pun).

    • LondonAlum

      I agree with Just the Facts (and LTP). I am not sure what kind of formation it would be called, but I am sure a defense would have difficulties adjusting to a backfield of Siemian, Mark and Colter … especially with the potential for Colter to take some direct snaps.

      This might not work for 3rd and long situations, because I am not sure if you want Colter or Mark doing a lot of blocking (although I saw Mark provide a really great block on one of the 4th quarter drives last week). So, then you replace Mark/Colter with Trumpy, who is a good blocker and also a valuable receiver.
      I realize there are two problems with this:
      1) It takes Colter out of the ‘leadership’ role – in which he really responds well – and transfers it to Siemian. However, after watching interviews with both of them, I think it would be best for the team.
      2) It reduces playing time for the WRs and Vitale. However, having too many good offensive players is a nice problem to have.

      • The blocking is a huge point. A 2-back set with kain blocking for venric just is too dangerous.

  • ctcatsfan

    Your point ” Is there a way to have Trevor be taking 2/3 of the snaps and Kain 1/3 of the snaps, while keeping Kain on the field as close to 100% of the time as possible?” is constantly running thru my mind. The potential play options really are mind boggling having both Veneric and Kain in the game along with Trevor. NU is probably waiting to play those cards in key B1G games the second half of the year. Obviously the down side would be giving the rest of our fantastic receiving corps slightly less playing time which is why I could see the mix more like 50-50.

    • Doug

      1) didn’t we pretty much do this last year when Persa was at QB?
      2) Remember how twice a year, at least, for the past 3 years we would run what looked like a WR sweep/reverse to Ebert, and then he’d pull up and throw a 30yd pass? Why on earth aren’t we doing this with Colter, especially since he’s an even more legitimate threat to simply run with the ball on the sweep if the pass isn’t there?

      3) This is un-related minutae (sp?) but after years and years of having converted QBs at wide-out, do we have *any* of them anymore? I always like that those guys understood the “other side” of the offense and the offense as a whole really well, but perhaps it speaks to our recruiting that we’ve got true wideouts coming in now, not guys who played QB in HS or guys who came in as QBs and didn’t make the cut. (And I know we’ve moved Watkins to S-back, but I mean actual wide receivers).

  • Tim Kowols

    The flag project should get a small boost since fans visiting Wildcat Alley could win flags from the Geico tent.

    • Pittsburgh Wildcat

      I got one of those from a couple of women walking around the west lot handing them out to tailgaters. Gotta say those had to be the cheapest pieces of crap ever. But, it did help repel a little rain in the 4th quarter.

  • Some questions:
    1. Would this topic be around if the WR’s had caught a couple of those dropped 1st half passes?
    2. Has anyone seen Siemian take off and run the way he did Saturday night?
    3. The option is something you have to practice and use in a game to get good at it – does Trevor ever practice it?

    The only problem with a 2 QB rotation is that the defense knows which guy runs and which guy passes. If Colter completes a couple of those long throws down field early in a game, won’t that put this whole discussion to rest?

    Just asking.

    • GradCat

      I think that was the point being made, though. With the current personnel, it is possible to do a 2 QB system that isn’t as predictable as Kain = run, Trevor = pass. There is also the possibility of some great option plays where Siemian takes the snap and can either throw or hand off to Colter who, in turn, can either throw or hand off to Mark. The possibilities are amazing given what each of these men can do.

    • JimB

      thoughts to your questions
      1)absolutely, they weren’t all drops. Some were just poorly thrown. In some cases the wide receivers MADE the catch on a ball thrown behind them that slowed their momentum that caused us to be short of the first down. (thinking of 3rd down throw to Prater) Siemian’s throws are generally more accurate.
      2)I don’t think you will see that nor do we NEED to see that. I prefer our QB NOT be a primary runner. Thats what RBs are for and we have a good one in Mark.
      3) I prefer he NOT run the option. If the DE ends penetrate well it shuts down the option pretty quick. Vandy shut it down after the 3rd time we ran it. Our O line isn’t that strong that we can win that battle most of the time. So I don’t want the option to be ou primary offensive plan. The option is also not a quick strike offense.
      I agree with LTP that NU offense would be more productive with Siemian getting more snaps and Colter on the field in different positions including occassional QB.

  • Scooter

    Honestly, I think what we’re doing at the moment is working perfectly. Siemian doesn’t equal pass, because Mark is a legitimate option that defenses need to respect. Colter doesn’t equal run because he’s got a decent mid-range passing game and throws the ball when he’s in, not just run the option. (Our receivers really did let him down. They weren’t as precision of passes as Siemian would have thrown, but they hit the receivers hands. If the ball hits your hands, you have to bring it in.)

    I think what we have forces defenses to essentially prepare for two different schemes. Both QBs can hurt you in different ways.

    Watching on TV, we weren’t able to see that Siemian and Colter were both in the huddle in order to keep teams guessing. That’s brilliant.

  • cece

    there is no spoon.

    it’s only there if you see it. I don’t see a QB controversy.

  • Cardiac_Cat_Fan

    It’s clear that Mick McCall has two different schemes for Kain and Trevor.

    When Kain is the game, McCall will do what we’ve seen him do for the majority of his tenure with NU and that is work in dink and dunk passing with option looks to try and lull opposing secondaries to sleep before going over the top. As far as the Vanderbilt game went it almost worked had Tony Jones hauled in Kain’s deep pass attempts. The emergence of Mach 5 has also has given NU something they’ve been dying to have – an every down back and running game – and working that into the scheme for Kain is still a work in progress as far as balance and timing (when to call a run vs pass) is concerned.

    Siemian is a more of a pocket passer who is surprisingly athletic. McCall with a sense of confidence in Trevor’s arm (or perhaps having no choice because we’re trailing) takes more consistent pass attempts down field, and Siemian has looked brilliant. Also he goes pass first a lot of times and that opens up the running game for Venric – which I believe is the best way to open up the run game and keep Mach 5 healthy the entire season. I also believe our WRs thrive under the play calling for Siemian opposed to Kain because the play-calling plays to their strengths to stretch the field deep. Dinking and Dunking with our WRs is like only driving a corvette on suburban residential streets where the speed limit is 25mph.

    Like LTP said I would love to see Siemian, Mark, and Colter in the game at the same time. Unfortunately Mick McCall, as great as he is at developing QBs, is not known for creativity and aggression as an offensive coordinator. Imagine what Chip Kelly or Gus Malzhan could/would do with this personal. We have a complex offense that I believe is far from peaking, but has every opportunity to in the very near future. I hope McCall can surprise me and come up with an attack that consistently keeps defenses guessing and off balance and puts up points.

    • wcgrad

      I cannot disagree strongly enough with this assessment:
      “Unfortunately Mick McCall, as great as he is at developing QBs, is not known for creativity and aggression as an offensive coordinator.”

      What evidence do you have for that? Imagine what McCall could do with Malzhan’s or Kelly’s personnel is more like it. If you think our players are more athletic than Oregon’s or the Auburn’s the year of Cam Newton (or even in the infamous 2010 Outback bowl) you’re kidding yourself. We’re not a corvette – maybe we’re a civic with some helpful modifications. McCall is the mechanic who knows where those modifications are. Just like a rally car driver, he knows when to put on the breaks and when to go into top gear. Trying to take the car beyond its limits leads to disaster – just like forcing the ball into double coverage, or forcing a QB to make throws he can’t leads to interceptions.

      McCall has managed to put up points on just about everyone in spite of the talent deficiencies along the line or at RB. His philosophy of “put the ball in the most talented guys’ hands in good positions and watch them make plays” has worked very well. I would not be surprised if our offense continues to put up more points as the season rolls along, because of, not in spite of, McCall’s play calling, play design as an OC.

      • cardiac_cat_fan

        There is a wealth of evidence for a lack of creativity and aggression on Mick McCalls behalf. Again, he is our OC and I completely admire his work to develop QBs, but I believe there is a case here.

        Most recently at Syracuse, Northwestern gains possession at the 25 with 2:40 left in the first half and has 2 timeouts remaining. Play call: run-run-run-half ends and northwestern on the road lets a chance to get more points and steal momentum slip away. This is only a recent example.

        Northwestern’s spread offense is quite unique. It’s not a quick strike offense, given our defensive woes this offense has transformed into a time of possession type offense to limit opposing teams. This offense is complex from a play call standpoint. From a given formation there are nearly an infinite amount of play calls that can be checked to. Our play calls and reads are complex, but pre-snap our offense is pretty vanilla.

        Athletes and play calls aside, I believe the scheme itself can put plays in the right position pre-snap. I mention Chip Kelly at Oregon because pre-snap he uses very unique motions and disguised formations to give an athletic offense even more of advantage. That is what I speak of from a creativity standpoint. Would U of M struggle with a Siemian, Colter, Mark backfield look? My guess would be yes. Motion Colter from the slot to next to Siemian and you’ve got a guessing game by a defensive coordinator. Just a rough example.

        I would also put our WR corp up there with anyones in the nation, and Mach 5. There’s the keystone importance of the offensive line that we don’t have yet, but we’re still good. I just don’t think with the skill set of our WRs that screen passes and routes under 5 yards plays to their potential under Kain, and that’s why Siemian has had success.

        I’m loving the good debate. GO CATS!

  • Estif

    Not sure if this is optimism or naiveté,
    but I’m hopeful that these crazy outside-the-box schemes are set and ready to
    go but we’re waiting until Nebraska to debut them. My hope is that Fitz/McCall
    are playing the season like a chess game and we’ll get an upset
    or two out of keeping the “real” scheme in our back pocket through the beginning of the B10
    slate. We’re wracking our brains trying to devise schemes on our own that have
    probably existed since spring ball, but we won’t see them for another few
    weeks. My hope is that it will be Siemian under center most of the time and
    Kain on the field virtually ALL of the time as LTP and others have talked
    about, but we’ll see.

  • Pittsburgh Wildcat

    This won’t matter for a couple more weeks, but Penn State had another WR announce today that he’s leaving their program. He only had 6 catches thru the 1st 2 games, but he was their most experienced WR coming into the season.

    PSU’s receiver corps is now left with a true soph WR who caught 3 passes all last year + their tight end who is a RS Freshman.

    • You get the sense the wheels are about to fall off the entire season. Such an odd thing to digest.

  • Watching and (Mostly) Waiting

    Totally agree with ctcatsfan, the key point in LTP’s post today, for me: “Is there a way to have Trevor be taking 2/3 of the snaps and Kain 1/3 of the snaps, while keeping Kain on the field as close to 100% of the time as possible?” Just one additional comment. While he probably can’t literally be on the field 100%, it felt to me like Kain thrived in the back-and-forth environment last year. In 2011, that was often created by Persa injuries, now it would be by coach’s choice. Don’t know how he did it, but I often marveled at Kain’s durability, as well as his ability to effectively run the option one down, and then, on the next snap, run a great route and catch a pass just beyond the sticks.

  • Chasmo

    I agree with those fans who say that, for now, the Cats should leave well enough alone. Colter is the best quarterback for the NU offense if he is passing well. If he is not, Siemian can replace him.
    Colter is more difficult for opposing defenses to prepare for and therefore should remain the starter. NU is deep at WR and Mark is doing well at RB so putting Colter in harm’s way at another position really isn’t necessary.Let’s stick with what’s been working,

    • DT

      Makes sense to me…

  • bandcat

    hope the new wrinkle becomes know as The NU Pistol 20 while all our key players are healthy…2,5 and 13…

  • Kzoo Cat

    I disliked last year’s offense with Persa one play, then Colter the next, constant shuffling of quarterback and also running back. I think having either Colter or Siemian for an entire series is better than mixing during a series. This also presents challenges to the defense because the offense is run quite differently.

  • Db

    The primary point to consider is putting points on the scoreboard. Ltp said 33 ppg is 55th best in the country. That means unless you have a dominant defense you best be scoring 40 ppg if you have aspirations of going 8-4 or better.

    The results are the results. Kain is not moving the chains, and this isn’t a new thing, ex the Nebraska game. Siemian has had more productive drives while playing about 10% of the time. He came in completely cold against Syracuse and had a better drive than all of colters combined. Then he gets thrown in cold in a driving rainstorm and drops dimes all over the field. I am sure if other teams just game planned for siemian that he wouldn’t be this effective, but even if you got 70% of what he is giving you its more than colter right now.

    By the way what drops is everyone talking about? The worst one was on a siemian pass. Jones didn’t have a prayer at that colter pass, and he whipped it at vitale’s head on another one.

    Colter can out athlete most of the big ten. He should be on the field and he has to get snaps because making the other teams gameplan for both is imperative. But it’s just ignorant to suggest he should be getting the majority of the snaps. It also raises the question why? I do think/ hope there is gamesmanship going on. I wouldn’t put it past the coaches to be letting this casually play out in the noncon then go whatever direction proves appropriate later on. Why show your best cards now I guess when you can count on a guy to come in cold and save your ass weekly?

  • Purple to Pasadena

    Kain Colter is the most dynamic player to put on an NU uniform in the post-dark ages era. And on top of that, he appears to be one of the best leaders we have had. That is what makes the current predicament so difficult. I don’t know where he fits in on this team, other than just perhaps another face in the crowd of 8-9 talented WRs fighting for playing time. But to continue playing him at QB instead of Siemian flies in the face of what is increasingly indisputable–the offense moves better with Siemian under center. And I agree with Db’s comment above that I don’t know what drops everyone is talking about either. Colter overthrew T Jones on two passes and had to throw the ball to Vitale too high to get it above the DE.
    Colter is a gamer, and will go down as one of the more memorable ‘Cats to don the purple and black. I just hope we can find the right spot for him to shine.

  • Mr Fantastic

    Why over-analyze it? It’s working. Two different offensive styles to choose from, both with run/pass capability, although different. Put in the style that will work best at the given time, and switch when necessary. Throw in a little Zach Oliver from time-to-time to really keep the opposition confused.

  • Henry in CT

    I think NU will go with the system of having Siemian bail out Colter until if becomes overwhelmingly obvious that Siemian should start at which point a position has to be found for Colter. I think there is no natural position for him on offense but his athleticism could make him a good CB and that is what NU (and everyone else) always needs.

  • Cletown Joe

    The emergence of VMark as a legit RB is really the only reason we can be having this discussion. If this were playing out last year there would be no question that Colter would have to be the man but we don’t NEED a running QB with Mark in the backfield. It is nice but not neccessary. Defenses now have to respect the run. Last year they only had to respect the scramble through a ball hawk.
    In his limited action Siemian has shown that he can make some throws that most college QBs can not. With the beating Colter took last year (and week 1) it seems like a positive that we don’t need him in there 100% of the time. I say have the timeshare closer to 50/50 split and keep Colter off the field when he is not at QB. Given our depth at the WR position do we really need to risk him getting banged up?