EVANSTON, Ill. – Indiana now has a quarterback competition on its hands. Just don’t call it a controversy.
Nate Sudfeld relieved Cameron Coffman and gave Indiana a spark before the Hoosiers fell 44-29 to Northwestern on Saturday, and coach Kevin Wilson was adamant afterward.
There won’t be a controversy, he said. I think they are both adequate, I think they will both play, we’ll just keep evaluating. We will watch the game tape and see what we thought.
He probably won’t like what he sees from the defense.
Kain Colter ran for 161 yards and four touchdowns, and the Wildcats set a school record with 704 yards of total offense.
Along with the big gains on the ground, Colter also finished with 131 yards receiving in a dominant performance in which he barely threw the ball. He left that to Trevor Siemian instead.
There are a lot of ways we can go with this, Colter said.
He mentioned the possibility of Siemian lining up at receiver, which drew a big grin from his teammate.
I like that a lot, actually, he said.
The way he threw the ball on Saturday, Northwestern might want to keep Siemian behind center. He passed for 308 yards, and Venric Mark ran for 138 and a touchdown on a day when the Wildcats (5-0) had to hang on after they appeared to be on their way to an easy win.
They led 27-0 early in the third before it got interesting.
Indiana (2-2) got within 37-29 when D’Angelo Roberts scored on a 2-yard run and Kofi Hughes ran it in for the two-point conversion. Colter scored on a 22-yard run to make it 44-29 with just over 5 minutes left. The Hoosiers then drove to the 4 before getting called for a false start on fourth down, and the Wildcats stopped them there.
Northwestern is 5-0 for the third time in five years, a good start for a team that finished fifth in the Legends division a year ago. Now, can the Wildcats keep it up?
They looked good building that big lead before things got tense down the stretch.
Colter attempted just three passes and got intercepted once while Siemian handled most of the quarterback duties. But he was a huge contributor in the run and passing games, carrying 14 times and finishing with nine receptions, and his play at receiver caught the Hoosiers off guard.
We didn’t really prep as much for it because the first couple of games we saw him at quarterback, safety Greg Heban said.
Coffman started at quarterback for IU and threw for 109 yards with an interception.
Sudfeld came on in the third quarter and provided a spark for the second straight game, going 9 of 16 for 157 yards and a touchdown.
I knew just to be ready, and they prepared well during the week and gave me a lot of reps, Sudfeld said.