It appeared as though Colter re-aggravated his ankle injury, with team doctors reportedly checking on him. Still, he would later return, completing his gutsy performance.
"It's just football," Colter said. "You're going to come out with some bumps and bruises. I was able to get back into the game, so that's good."
Although the offense struggled, particularly due to ill-timed penalties and two fumbles by Mike Trumpy, Colter looked sharp after missing the entirety of last week's game.
He went 11-of-14 passing for 104 yards and a touchdown, adding 60 yards on the ground. Despite the crumbling offensive line–which led to him being sacked five times–Colter managed to lead the offense with poise.
"I thought he played his tail off. I thought he played like a warrior," Pat Fitzgerald said. "He was out there running around trying to make any play he possibly could. I'm proud of him."
Yet the numbers are appalling: Northwestern scored only 10 points, this coming after a dismal showing in the loss to Minnesota. Colter fixed some, but not all, of the team's lingering problems.
"We suck right now," Colter said. "We've got to get better."
Colter didn't minimize the extent of his injury. But after promising he would play earlier in the week, the star quarterback lived up to his promise—delivering an impressive outing regardless of score.
"There's going to be lingering effects until it heals 100 percent," he said. "But like I said, everyone's playing through pain — especially at this point in the season."
So he'll keep going, despite the losses, tough as ever. It's why this fan base appreciates Kain Colter. When he's down, he's not out.