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(Saturday, September 29)
Final Score: Northwestern 44, Indiana 29
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Kain Colter's career-high four rushing touchdowns helped the Northwestern Wildcats open the Big Ten season with a 44-29 win over the Indiana Hoosiers at Ryan Field.
Colter, who was the Wildcats (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) starting quarterback in their previous four games, started this afternoon at wide receiver but took some snaps at quarterback as well. He ran 14 times for 161 yards while tallying nine receptions for 131 yards. He also went 1-for-3 passing with an interception. Trevor Siemian threw for 308 yards and a pick on 22-of-32 passing in his first career start. Venric Mark added 139 yards and a score on 29 carries. As a team, Northwestern ran 58 times for 394 yards.
Starting quarterback Cameron Coffman struggled in the first half for Indiana (2-2, 0-1), completing 13-for-23 for 109 yards and a pick. Coffman was replaced in the third quarter by freshman Nate Sudfeld, who looked much more comfortable leading the Hoosiers' offense. Sudfeld went 9-for-16 for 157 yards and a touchdown, his fourth of the season. Stephen Houston carried 11 times for 91 yards and a score. Kofi Hughes managed to make five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.
The first half was dominated by the Wildcats. They were efficient on third down, converting 6-of-10 in the half while picking up 316 yards of offense. Four of their drives went for 61 yards or more.
Colter started the scoring at the 8:07 mark of the first quarter when he scampered into the end zone from eight yards out. All six plays on the 80-yard possession were rushes.
The Wildcats scored on all three of their second quarter possessions. Colter's second touchdown run and two Jeff Budzien field goals gave the Wildcats a 20-0 halftime lead.
Down 27-0 midway into the third quarter, the Hoosiers finally found some holes in Northwestern's defense and fought back with consecutive touchdowns. Houston scored on a 20-yard run to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive on the IU's first possession of the second half. Minutes later, Sudfeld connected with Hughes for a 35-yard score.
But in the end, Colter was just too dominant. With an eight-point lead and time winding down, Colter's fourth rushing touchdown put the game out of reach.
The loss was the Hoosiers' second straight after starting the season with back- to-back wins, while Northwestern improves to 5-0 for the third time in five seasons. NU improves to 46-34-1 all-time against the Hoosiers.
09/29 16:26:08 ET
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