Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his Snap Reactions. See Dienhart’s immediate thoughts from Northwestern and Indiana’s wins over Iowa and Illinois, respectively, in this post.
Kain Colter scored three rushing touchdowns and threw for another score as Northwestern defeated Iowa 28-17 on Saturday. The Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) have been struggling with their passing game, but had success running the ball. Colter rushed for 166 yards and Venric Mark ran for 162 yards. Mark became Northwestern’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Tyrell Sutton in 2006.
Northwestern’s Kain Colter led the offense in the third quarter, throwing for 59 yards and one touchdown and running for 29 yards and one touchdown, and the Wildacts enter the fourth quarter leading 28-10. Northwestern opened up the lead, 21-3, after Colter kept it himself for a four-yard touchdown run to end a one-play, four-yard drive. The Wildcats started in good field position when Connor Kornbrath blocked a punt.
Northwestern gained 121 yards on the ground in the second, and the Wildcats now lead 14-3. Northwestern expanded its lead to 14-3 thanks to a seven-play, 99-yard drive that ended when Kain Colter kept it himself for a two-yard touchdown run.
Northwestern racked up 75 rushing yards in the first, and the Wildcats lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Northwestern’s front seven stepped up in the quarter, allowing Iowa to gain just 14 rushing yards. The Wildcats scored the game’s first points after Kain Colter kept it himself for a five-yard touchdown run on the last play of an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
In my preview of this Saturday’s six games, I believe most teams will play with a real sense of urgency. Nebraska and Michigan are two good examples, but Ohio State and Penn State each have something to prove, too. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a history, Iowa leads Northwestern in the standings, and Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois each seek their first conference win.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
Saturday is fast approaching. Here are my most pressing questions for each school. The answers may come Saturday, but if you want to tackle them now, let me know in the comments box or via my Big Ten mailbag. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here. And don’t be afraid to drop ask me a question on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
This shapes up as a great weekend that is headlined by Michigan’s visit to Nebraska in a huge Legends clash that will go a long way toward determining who will win the division.