Gator Bowl Football

Northwestern QB Kain Colter plans to play vs Syracuse

Leave a comment

Northwestern managed to pull out a victory on the road at Cal in the season opener on Saturday but it came at a cost. Fortunately, as the Wildcats prepare to host Syracuse in week two, key offensive weapons could be ready to go.

One of the keys to success this season for Northwestern is the health of quarterback Kain Colter. After suffering the effects of a concussion against Cal, Colter says he is ready to play this weekend against Syracuse. Teddy Greenstein of The Chicago Tribune quoted (via Twitter) the Wildcats quarterback saying “I’m ready to go. I’m planning to play this week.”

Venric Mark, the dynamic running back option that compliments Colter for a solid 1-2 punch, is battling through a leg injury. Mark was not removed from the game against Cal but his status should be a concern for Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern. Against Cal, Mark accounted for just 34 yards of total offense.

If Colter is unavailable for Northwestern, expect Trevor Siemian to once again fill in after proving himself capable of running the offense against Cal. Colter adds more versatility and leadership to the offense, but Siemian could be able to be called upon if needed. Siemian completed 18 of 29 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice by Cal’s defense. Syracuse came p with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery in their season opening loss to Penn State.

Expect Oregon’s quarterback rotation to continue for the next two weeks

AP Photo

Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.

As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.

“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”

“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”

Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.

“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”

With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.