Trevor Siemian struggled to guide the group, failing in his stint as the sole quarterback option. The offense became one-dimensional, with offensive coordinator Mick McCall abandoning an inconsistent run game.
Colter took the field for Tuesday's practice, though, indicating his likely return this weekend. He looked sharp, and even executed an impressive running play.
This marked an important positive for this Wildcats team, which needs to improve heading into Saturday's matchup against Iowa.
Pat Fitzgerald refused to make any promises about Colter's status, using his trademark vague injury descriptions:
"Like I said, he's day-to-day. We'll see how things go. It's the first day of the week. I thought it was nice to have him at least practice."
Superback Dan Vitale had a more inspired reaction, speaking as though the quarterback's return seemed imminent.
"It's nice to get that element back in our game," Vital said. "The dual threat is huge for us."
The third straight loss provided one lesson. To close this disappointing season on a positive note, NU could certainly use Kain Colter. Tuesday, in many ways, was a promising sign.