Pat Fitzgerald's quotes from the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference
- On targeting: Fitz notes that a key in all levels of football is teaching players to wrap up when they tackle, and not hit: "The field hasn't gotten any bigger and the guys have gotten bigger, faster, stronger." However, he said a lot of targeting penalties are happening on "momentary mistakes," so he'd rather have yellow cards as warnings. "(The players) only have so many games."
- "The proliferation of the spread offense has gone from neck roll guys who can't run... to now you have one-on-one matchups all over the field. Now you have guys who have to make plays in wide open spaces." Fitz said it was tough for him to make those plays, and he knows the spread has been very difficult on defensive players, especially in the secondary.
- "Will the game go back to four yards and a cloud of dust and neck rolls? I doubt that, unless the rules change drastically." Fitz said the spread offense and uptempo are here to stay.
- On player discipline: "I believe discipline starts with recruiting."
- What's the mood of your team over the past three weeks? "Not very happy... I wish I could bottle up the ways these guys are working in practice." Fitz said the issue isn't their work ethic; rather, it's their decisions.
- On fixing those issues: "Hopefully we'll show up and not beat ourselves." Fitz said his team has beaten itself in the past few games.