When tensions (kind of) rose between Kain Colter and his head coach, it created this sort of paradoxical effect. They seemed closer, more similar.
We often dissect Colter's style of play, especially as it relates to Trevor Siemian. Lost in the discussion, sometimes, is his overwhelming competitive nature.
If you're an outspoken NU fan, one of your favorite recent memories must have been the 2011 Nebraska game. With the season unraveling–and a serious chance of missing bowl eligibility–Colter willed his team to a stunning road victory. (It's even more incredible to think of how many strides the program has taken since.)
One personal favorite took place during the semi-painful 2011 bowl game, when Texas A&M took control early and earned the 33-22 win. Pat Fitzgerald, less high profile then, was animated during the comeback effort. From the television screen, you could watch every reason why recruits wanted and still want to play for him.
They beamed similarly during Monday's press conference, too. Colter was particularly up front:
"I'm not going to lie… I had this circled on my schedule."
"I was rooting for Ohio State so we could get GameDay."
Mine is Kain Colter, the person most capable of singlehandedly contributing to an upset effort. He was awful against Maine, sure, but with Colter there's the potential for dominance. Nebraska 2011, Indiana 2012… Ohio State 2013? This, of course would be the biggest yet.
"Looking at our offense, we have athletes that can match up," Colter said.
Fitzgerald's even calmer. When a reporter's phone/audio recorder buzzed on the podium, he picked it up and informed the caller he was in the middle of a press conference. Only on this team.
After Colter wore an APU armband during the Maine game, an overblown discussion ensued. Fitzgerald was "disappointed" that he hadn't cleared the decision with team leaders. It was easy, for some, to blow that out of context.
They're on the same page again, in joint pursuit of the program's biggest win in recent memory.