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Northwestern practice notes: Tuesday, 10/1

Some notes from Tuesday’s practice:

- Watching Venric Mark burst through the line and juke defenders was a welcome sight for teammates. A number of players could be heard screaming, ‘Yeah V!’ as Mark busted a few nice runs. Coach Pat Fitzgerald was asked if Mark could be as elusive as he was at Tuesday's practice in Saturday’s game.  “I hope so.” Fitzgerald said.

- Asked whether he thinks Mark is excited to return, Fitzgerald said, “Obviously he’s been out for a couple of weeks, but I think the guys have been working hard over the last two weeks. When you have a bye week, it seems so long since the last time you’ve played.”

- After playing sparingly in week one and sitting out the next three weeks, Mark is set to return Saturday against the No. 3 team in the country. How will his re-insertion into the lineup affect Northwestern’s offense? “It’s a heck of a free-agent pick up,” Fitzgerald said.  “You get an All-American back that hasn’t played yet – it makes a big difference. We’ll see as the week progresses. I’m optimistic that things will go well.”

- Fitzgerald was pleased with the intensity and execution at Tuesday’s workout. “I loved our focus today, it was terrific. It was maybe the best I’ve been around.”

- Most coaches, writers and fans are impressed by Ohio State. Fitzgerald is no exception. “They’re one of the most talented football teams in the country. I thought schematically they had a great plan and then I thought Wisconsin threw the ball really well. I was very impressed watching Wisconsin’s defense stop the run. It was very impressive,” he said.

Northwestern running back Venric Mark and transfer wideout Miles Shuler spoke after practice. Here's a video of Mark's session with reporters.