LINCOLN, Neb. - In a 28-25 loss to Northwestern last season, Nebraska saw Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter combine for three touchdowns, lining up also as a wide receiver and running back.
The athletic junior has spent more time under center in 2012, with the departure of Dan Persa, but the Wildcats will still give Nebraska plenty of different looks at the quarterback position when the two square off on Saturday in Evanston, Illinois.
Colter has been sharing reps with sophomore Trevor Siemian, who has 25 more passing attempts than the junior this season. While Siemian might be the Wildcats first option through the air, Colter is their threat on the ground, averaging 5.7 yards per carry on 74 attempts - finding the end zone eight times.
"He's dangerous as a quarterback, good as a wide receiver,” said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. “You've got to be prepared to deal with Kain no matter where he lines up."
Comparing Colter/Siemian’s numbers to Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, you find quite a few similarities.
The two Northwestern quarterbacks have combined for 1256 yards in 2012, just 17 yards short of Martinez.
Martinez has 68 attempts on the ground this season; good for a 5.0 yards per carry average – numbers similar to Colter.
"You just don't see it a lot," said Pelini on Northwestern’s two-quarterback system. “I'm not exactly sure why they do it. They obviously must like both quarterbacks."
On Saturday against Minnesota, Siemian had his worst game of the season, throwing only 1-for-7 for four yards in a 21-13 win.
Mix this in with Nebraska’s struggles against dual-threat quarterbacks the past few seasons and Husker fans should expect to see more of Colter than the sophomore on Saturday.
"It’s not completely two different packages," said Pelini when talking about the differences in the offense when Colter compared to Siemian is running the show. "It’s probably not as hard for them to switch as other people, when they have to run two completely different offenses."
Colter had 17 carries for 57 yards against Nebraska last season, also catching three balls and completing four passes.