The Best of the B1G, #10 Trevor Siemian/Kain Colter

b1g_iconNorthwestern returns in 2013 with its unusually successful tandem quarterback team of redshirt junior Trevor Siemian and senior starter Kain Colter. The combination idea is not new to Northwestern who had employed it with Colter and Dan Persa. Still, the use in 2012 was initiated by Colter himself who told coach’s he was banged up so Kane Coltermuch toward the end of last year’s game at Syracuse that back-up Siemian would give the Cats the best chance to win. Siemian responded with a game winning drive. The success kept coming as Northwestern rolled to a 10-3 finish including a 34-20 New Year’s Day bowl victory over Mississippi State.

Offense was the key driver of Northwestern’s success as they finished third in the B1G in scoring offense and fifth in overall offense. And while Siemien is regarded as the better passer (finishing, as a part time player, tenth in yards per game and total yards), Colter acquitted himself nicely, actually finishing seventh passing efficiency—above Siemian. Both those statistics are driven to some extent Trevor Siemianby the fact that Siemian is the first option in obvious passing situations—so you would expect his total passing yards to get a boost while Colter’s efficiency is aided by the fact that his passing occurs when the defense is not looking pass first, but still, the Wildcats have to be pleased that either is an effective passer. If you were to combine their stats they presented a 2012 profile that was very similar to, if not slightly better than Iowa’s James Vandenberg, though each had a higher QB rating and Colter’s was actually among the best of the B1G.

Still passing needs to catch up to the Cats’ running game—which looks to be even better in 2013—if they are to improve on last year’s showing (which saw late game lasses to Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan). The schedule in 2013 includes Ohio State, Wisconsin and a trip to Cal. To make things even more difficult, Northwestern will have to replace a number of offensive linemen lost to graduation.

The intangible that makes the Northwestern quarterback duo so appealing—in addition to its relative success, is that when a team has a successful dual quarterbacking approach, it has a greater degree of insulation from severe drop-off if there is an injury. While Northwestern may have to change its game plan if there is an injury, it is only a situational adjustment, both run the read option well and both handle most aspects of the offense proficiently. If this quarterback tandem can step in up in passing proficiency—which if it happens, means the O line will have also stabilized—the Northwestern Wildcats, with upgraded facilities and a hopeful future, could become a force in the Legends division in 2013.

Previously on MotSaG’s Best of the B1G
Best of the B1G, #15-11
Best of the B1G, #20-16
Best of the B1G, #25-21


  1. These guys sure are fun to watch… They seem to have the two QB system working on all cylinders.


  1. […] on MotSaG’s Best of the B1G #10 Trevor Siemian/Kain Colter Best of the B1G, #15-11 Best of the B1G, #20-16 Best of the B1G, […]

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