Notes from Pat Fitzgerald and Urban Meyer on the Big Ten Coaches Conference Call.
- On feeling in Evanston, with Gameday and in primetime: "I don't know. We're in a bunker."
- What would win mean: "We've been in this type of challenge before, and in some of the games we executed and played well, and in some games we didn't do well as coaches." Fitz has preferred to dodge questions about the hype.
- On change of program: "It's terrific, the change in the climate here and how our fans have supported us... in the bowl games we've been at and in Berkeley... We've just got to continue to do our part."
- What's the difference between now and when Fitz was a player? "Night and day." (with hearty laughter)
- Fitz said Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian have done a good job setting their egos aside and doing what's best with the team. He notes that it wouldn't work with everyone. "Would Kain like to have the ball every play? Yeah. So would Venric and Tony Jones (and then he lists everyone else)."
- Fitz on OSU: "There's an All-Big Ten player at every position on their offense." On the passing game: "They've not only been effective, they've been deadly. That's how they beat Wisconsin on Saturday." So if there was ever a day for NU's corners to step up, it would be now.
- Fitz on Ifeadi Odenigbo: "From the days that (OSU media) was probably covered him down in high school ball, he's just a much bigger athlete... he's just growing in the position every day."
- Fitz on his last game against Urban Meyer and Bowling Green in 2001: "I believe it was the game we had to reschedule due to 9/11. That's what my memory was of that whole year. I know we didn't come out successful in that game."
- Fitz said Jimmy Hall played very well in the bowl game. "I still think his best football is ahead of him here."
- Is there fear of OSU fans taking over Ryan Field? "I definitely think at times, in the past, that we've had issues and they'll have fans here. They probably have more grads in Chicagoland than we do." However, Fitz said he anticipates a homefield advantage for NU.
- How concerning is it to struggle scoring in the fourth quarter? "That is something I've been aware of and keeping an eye on." He called it "very alarming."
- On Christian Bryant's loss: "This is one guy who I thought was an incredible leader." However, OSU has a number of players who can step into his role, including Corey Brown, who will likely be the starter.
- On the difference between NU and Wisconsin, defensively: He said the coverage isn't that different, but the teams are very different up front. He compared this NU defense to Wisconsin's a year ago.
- More on Bryant: "This is a shot, now. This is a real one. There's no secret formula. Someone has to step up."
- On Braxton Miller's return: "I wasn't comfortable until Thursday last week." This week, Meyer is "much more comfortable."
- On Venric Mark: "I spend a lot of time watching special teams, so obviously he's one of the best returners in America." He said that when he heard Mark would be back, he "went back to the drawing board." He hasn't watched as much of Mark on offense.
- Meyer said both quarterbacks can run and pass. "I don't think they're gonna play them much different... It's not drastically different, as far as their abilities."