I realize we're in an era of dynamic, multi-threat quarterbacks, what with Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson and Colin Klein and Geno Smith, etc., etc. But even in this era, you're not supposed to do what Kain Colter did last Saturday against Iowa, which is why he's this week's Off-Tackle Empire B1G Player of the Week.
166 yards rushing. 3 rushing touchdowns. 1 passing touchdown. And all coming off a disappointing loss to Nebraska, after which Colter stated to reporters that Northwestern's offense "had no identity."
Well, it has an identity now. And that identity (Colter running the read option with Venric Mark, who also had 162 yards rushing on the day, while still being a dangerous and accurate threat to throw) will be keeping plenty of defensive coordinators up with nightmares for the rest of this season and next season.
As impressive as those numbers are, they really don't do full justice to how good Colter was against the Hawkeyes. To understand that, you need to look at what Colter did on third downs in this game:
1st Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 6 at NU 29: Colter rush for 18 yards.
3rd and 9 at NU 48: Colter rush for 20 yards.
3rd and 1 at Iowa 5: Colter rush for 5 yards and TD.
3rd Northwestern Drive:
3rd and goal at Iowa 2: Colter rush for 2 yards and TD.
4th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 1 at NU 24: Colter rush for 3 yards.
3rd and 12 at NU 25: Colter pass complete to Rashad Lawrence for 11 yards (NU would punt)
7th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 5 at NU 48: Colter pass complete to Demetrius Fields for 5 yards and a first down. (Next play was Colter's 47 yard TD pass to Christian Jones)
8th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 9 at Iowa 48: Kain Colter pass complete to Kyle Prater for 6 yards (NU would turn the ball over on downs)
9th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 5 at Iowa 37: Kain Colter rush for 11 yards.
10th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 7 at NU 28: Kain Colter rush for loss of 4 yards (NU punted, was up 28-17 at this point with just 6:37 left)
11th Northwestern Drive:
3rd and 5 at NU 29: Kain Colter rush for 39 yards.
That is EVERY third down for Northwestern on offense....and Colter went 8-for-11 in converting them, with each play being in his hands. Just a dominating performance worthy of Player of the Week status.
Honorable mentions this week go to Minnesota's Phillip Nelson, Ohio State's Braxton Miller (he's seemingly in this space every week), Michigan State's defense, and Indiana's Nate Sudfeld. Good work by all those players.
As for the beer of the week, in honor of Kain Colter cutting through the yellow and black of Iowa in Chicagoland, I picked Chicago's own Half Acre Beer Company's Daisy Cutter Pale Ale.
It's crisp, with soft citrus balanced with pale malt aromas, beautifully hoppy and surprisingly high in bitterness without losing sight of malt balance. A clean, simple, beer with some orange peel bite and a clean finish that leaves you thirsty for more. And it comes in a can, which is awesome. A great beer.