EVANSTON — Kain Colter continued his dark horse Heisman campaign in Northwestern’s 38-17 win against visiting Western Michigan on Saturday night.
The 6-foot, 200-pound senior stumbled out the gate in the first half but finished with 15 rushes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Through the air, Colter was 6 of 7 for 40 yards, one TD and an interception.
On his first passing attempt, Colter overthrew his intended target, and Western Michigan junior safety Justin Currie picked him off on the WMU 9-yard line. Colter’s second pass attempt resulted in a 3-yard sack by WMU freshman Jamar Simpkins.
“We were just playing cover 2,” Currie said after the game. “He was just staring down over there, so I just broke on the ball. I just put my hands up there and got it.”
From the 10:47 mark in the second quarter and on, Colter was money in the bank. He scored his first rushing touchdown on a 4-yard scamper and on the ensuing drive, he found receiver Christian Jones open for a 6-yard touchdown pass in the end zone.
“Even with Colter, we had a guy on him,” WMU coach P.J. Fleck said. “If I was in the National Football League still, right now, I would make sure that I pound the table to draft him. I would take him in the first round.
“He’s a football player. You can’t coach what he has, and they have a special, special player.”
Colter was shaken up midway through the third quarter and backup Trevor Siemian finished the drive for the Wildcats. Colter returned on the next drive.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Colter raced past the Broncos defense for 23 yards to set up a Treyvon Green 42-yard TD on the next play — seemingly putting the game out of reach for a WMU comeback.
“We had our spy in the right spot, and he still made us pay,” Fleck said. “You can’t fault the kids for that. They gave everything they possibly had. They never, never quit.”
Green finished with 20 carries for 160 yards and two TDs, Jones had five receptions for 60 yards and a TD, and Siemian was 9 of 14 for 99 yards.
WMU quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergan was 16 of 41 for 202 yards, two touchdowns and a interception, Brian Fields rushed 13 times for 82 yards, and Corey Davis had five receptions for 112 yards and a TD.