Northwestern 2014 Spring Ball Preview: Quarterbacks
By Aaron Morse
The Wildcats are one of the more unique programs in college football right now due to their utilization of a two-quarterback system the last few years.
In 2013 it was senior Kain Colter and junior Trevor Siemian sharing the snaps. Except Colter was dinged up frequently throughout the season, leaving a lot of the heavy lifting to Siemian. Siemian struggled, completing fewer than 60 percent of his passes and getting picked off nine times while only averaging 179.1 passing yards per game. Colter completed nearly 80 percent of his passes and ran for 489 yards on the year with 10 total touchdowns. He appeared in 11 of 12 games, but wasn’t fully healthy for most of them.
Colter graduated from NU, but his presence is being felt in a major way when it comes to the issue of unionization.
Next In Line
Everyone is excited about redshirt freshman Matt Alviti. Some fans have called upon him to start or at least split snaps with Siemian. That’s what happens when you’re the No. 7 prospect in the state of Illinois out of high school. I think Alviti will have to wait his turn, but if Siemian has a couple of rough games early, the most popular player on the team will most definitely be Mr. Alviti. I don’t think NU will use the two-quarterback system again this year as it kind of fell apart last season.
Players To Watch
I would keep an eye on Siemian. The coaching staff said he too was injured last year, but played through it. He can’t really run, so his passing is of the upmost importance. The man led NU to its first bowl win since 1949 two seasons ago; I think he’ll have a nice bounce-back year to conclude his Wildcats career.
Needed For Success In 2014
Siemian must complete at least 65 percent of his passes, cut down on his interceptions and get more help from his receivers. There were too many drops in 2013. A healthy Venric Mark at running back will take a lot of the pressure away from Siemian, which should lead to a nice year.