Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dueling QBs Work for Wildcats; Both Have Different Strengths and Get Their Share of Playing Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dueling QBs Work for Wildcats; Both Have Different Strengths and Get Their Share of Playing Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

There's a football adage that if you have two quarterbacks, you have none.

In other words, if you can't decide between the two, neither one is good enough to win the starting job.

Don't try to sell that theory to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. The Wildcats have employed a two-quarterback attack this season and, at 9-3, it's worked pretty well.

The Big Ten representative will showcase that look one more time Tuesday when it meets Mississippi State in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl at EverBank Field.

Kain Colter has been Northwestern's starting quarterback in 10 of 12 games this season. One other game, he was the team's starting wide receiver.

But backup Trevor Siemian has passed for 1,192 yards, nearly 400 yards more than Colter. Other stats are closer, including interceptions (both with two) and TD tosses (Colter leads eight-six).

The two-prong quarterback attack has worked well - NU averages 397.8 yards per game and is scoring more than 30 points per game.

"We believe we've got two young men that we can win with. We watch a lot of NFL teams that don't have one," Fitzgerald said, without mentioning any teams by name. "We're very fortunate to have two.

"Cain is a very dynamic athlete who does a lot of things very, very well. He's a terrific leader, has had a great, great season.

"We've put Trevor in some tough situations, and he's handled them incredibly well this season. He's had a great finish for the year and has a really bright future. These are two guys who do things at a very high level. That's why we're here. We've rode their coattails, and obviously they're going to need to play well for us against Mississippi State."

Each quarterback has certain areas he does well in. Colter is a scrambler, using his running talents (920 yards rushing) to avoid defenders and to pose a dual threat.

He's only thrown for over 100 yards three times this year, never for more than 150 in a game.

But he's a versatile weapon. When he started at wide receiver against Indiana, he caught nine passes for 131 yards and also gained 161 yards on the ground when he went back to the quarterback spot. …

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