The Wildcat Football team moved to 5-0 and is ranked 24th in the AP poll as you may have heard. Our other fall sports continued to do some work as well, but there is no question who the Big Man On Campus is this weekend...
10. Steve Flaherty (Football) - I was tempted to include Flaherty in my last installment for his sweet sideline football bouncing ability a couple weeks ago against BC. This week, I dug and found an excuse to include him for his work off the field. Flaherty was recognized by Hilton Garden Inn for his community outreach reading to elementary students and teaching important lessons. The man is much more than a strong leg and quirky skills.
9. Audrey Huth (Cross Country) - Cross country makes its first appearance on this list as Huth finished top 10 in a field of over 100 runners in the Notre Dame invite which boasted highly-ranked national competition.
8. Chris Ritter & Eric Weberman (Men's Soccer) - Ritter stepped up to make his second clutch game-tying PK of the year after trailing 1-0 for most of the contest Sunday at Michigan State. Then, Weberman scored a big time goal on a strike from outside the 18 in overtime to end it. The 'Cats did not play great versus the Spartans, but did what they needed to grind out a victory. The 18th ranked men's soccer team moved to 7-1-2 and 2-0 in B1G play. It was a huge game coming off a disappointing loss to DePaul who snapped their 17 game regular season winning streak dating back to last season when they also fell to the Blue Demons.
7. Jeff Budzien (Football) - Still hasn't missed a kick and hasn't needed a replacement referee to aid any through the uprights. I have a feeling one of these next few games will come down to whether Budzien can convert a clutch game-winning field goal with the game tied or the 'Cats down which hasn't really happened yet (unless you count his PAT against Syracuse).
6. Kyle Prater (Football) - Makes this list for his great pass catching and timely blocking. Okay, never mind. Seriously, though, who would have thought we'd be 5-0 with Prater having zero impact?
Kyle Prater finally gets his name called after his hold nullifies a Colter touchdown.
6. Stephanie Holthus & Madalyn Shalter (Volleyball) - Holthus led the Wildcats (12-3, 1-3) with 21 kills and Shalter added 44 assists (that sounds funny) to get back on the winning track versus Penn State Saturday with their first Big Ten win.
5. Chelsea Armstrong (Field Hockey) - Armstrong has been a staple on BMOC rankings ever since I overlooked her on the initial list. It is a no-brainer this time as the all-time leading scorer added to her resume with a hat trick and game-winner in overtime versus no. 6 Penn State Friday. The Field Hockey team was ranked 10th going into the game.
4. John Callahan (Men's Golf) - Golf has started! That means we add two more ranked teams to our incredibly impressive list of fall sports doin' work. John Callahan led the 13th ranked Men's Golf squad to a second place overall finish in the 15-team Memorial Classic with an individual win garnering Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors. The Women's Golf team is currently ranked 29th.
3. Trevor Siemian (Football) - Siemian played well, if not great, in his first career start, but did make a few questionable decisions that would impact his adjusted interception rate if NCAA football kept that stat. He is high up on this list because just being listed on the scorecard as the starting QB raises his status on campus which is obviously key for any BMOC.
2. Venric Mark (Football) - Mark continues to prove the doubters wrong (one fumble notwithstanding) and also keeps his confusing Heisman campaign afloat. Just a heads up though, Mark is now 11th in the nation is rushing yards with 5 TDs to go along with his special teams prowess. Now, I am by no means saying he has any chance AT ALL to win the Heisman, but if he keeps this up and maybe moves in to the top ten in rushing and returns another kick for a TD and the 'Cats are 7-0 going into the Nebraska game, there may be a little buzz making the Heisman hype not seem quite as ridiculous as it once did...
1. Kain Colter (Football) - The guy was so explosive on the field making big play after big play that the Northwestern twitter verse was about to blow up. We, as a community, need to work on the spelling of his name though as I'm pretty sure Kane Coulter and Cane Kolter were trending as well. Incorrect spellings aside, Colter has an uncanny ability to make the correct decision and bust it when he keeps it on the option and zone-read which is good because it looks like he won't be throwing too many passes moving forward. The weirdest thing for me on Saturday, was Colter simultaneously having the game of his life while pretty much making Siemian the de-facto QB-1. Colter seems fine with this though as it appears clear that our best chance to win is with him playing in the slot as a wide out and then being an option QB with Siemian throwing the passes downfield. He put up decent numbers in this role Saturday: 164 yards rushing, 131 yards receiving, 2 yards passing! Let's be honest, Colter was never going to be a quarterback at the next level so NFL scouts are now getting an early look at the impact he could potentially make all over the field.
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