'Cats Run Wild

Northwestern might have been missing All-Big Ten quarterback Dan Persa and starting running back Mike Trumpy against Eastern Illinois, but the run game did not suffer.

Thanks mostly to starting quarterback Kain Colter, NU was dominant on the ground for the second week in a row. Colter racked up 109 yards on just 15 carries, an average of 7.3 yards per carry, and three touchdowns.

"[Colter] really improved from last week on a standpoint of taking what the defense gave him," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "They made a decision that they were going to let him run the ball, especially early, and I thought he ran well."

Colter's one failing might be that he is too intense. Fitzerald has warned Colter about taking too many hits, and the quarterback acknowledges that it's something he needs to improve on. His intensity for the game, however, is second to none.

"I realized [that I got hit hard] after the game," Colter said. "During the game, especially in the red zone, you smell blood and you want to score a touchdown. You've got to get those tough yards. In the open field when it's maybe two defenders on me, I need to just get down…it's going to be a long season, and I'd like to think that I need to be in there and help the team in any way possible. I'd like to get in there and keep my body healthy throughout the season."

From the running back position, it was back to past ways: running back by committee. Three ‘Cats, Jacob Schmidt, Adonis Smith, and Treyvon Green, had double digit carries. Schmidt had 11 carries for 51 yards, Smith 17 carries for 55 yards, and Green 10 carries for 54 yards. Schmidt and Green also added a touchdown each.

Schmidt, the most experienced back in the group, returned to Ryan Field for the first time since a regular season ending injury against Michigan State in 2010.

"It felt good to get back in…coming off of how my season ended last year," Schmidt said.

The senior scored his touchdown on his third straight goal-line attempt to punch the ball in. Scoring on the third attempt didn't necessarily diminish the meaning for Schmidt.

"Third time's the charm I guess," he said. "We would have liked to get it in on the first or second time but we'll go back to it. I'll take it."

Putting bookends on the class performance with Schmidt, freshman Treyvon Green got his first extended in game action against the Panthers. For Green, the switch to college football wasn't quite as difficult as expected.

"I felt great," Green said. "Just the atmopsphere, all the fans, all the support we have at Nortwhester, it made it easy for me to adjust to college football."

Fitzgerald said he expected Green to contribute early in the season. In his recruitment, Fitzgerald noted a lot of similarities between Green and one of Northwestern's best all time runners, Tyrell Sutton.

"He remineded us a lot of Tyrell Sutton," Fitzgerald said. "He's really thick in the lower body and runs well behind his pads. I just like the passion he plays with. He was excited to get out there and play."

Green said Fitzgerald complimented his passion on the sidelines during the game.

"I'm the type of player that goes full speed no matter how much time is left on the clock. How much we're up, it doesn't matter," Green said. "[Fitzgerald] kinda told me ‘I like your juice.' He kept telling me that."

All said, Northwestern racked up 320 yards on 67 carries, which is the second most all-time in Wildcat history. When all is said and done, however, Colter, Schmidt, Green and Fitzgerald were quick to give all the credit for the game to the offensive line.

"This group has been together, minus Brandon {last name] for a long time," Schmidt said. "They kind of came out this year with a chip on their shoulder, and so far they proved that they're a great o-line. They work as one. A lot of games started on that o-line, and I think it's shown, and again I think it will help us down the road."


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