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Northwestern Camp Kenosha Day 2: News and Notes

KENOSHA – On a relatively chilly August day at Northwestern’s Camp Kenosha, the defense appeared to take over. Although not cold enough to prepare the ‘Cats for their late-fall battles in Evanston and elsewhere in the Big Ten, the offense looked out-of-sync in various drills. The defense forced a handful of turnovers, including two interceptions during the two-minute drill, and sacked the quarterback a number of times. It seemed as though the defense relished the drop in temperature as they could sense that the season is just around the corner. Here are some other observations from day 2 from University of Wisconsin-Parkside:

-       The Big Ten Network covered Tuesday’s practice, in part taking away from Camp Kenosha’s goal of putting the focus purely on the field. But Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald expressed appreciation for what the Big Ten Network does for his program. “One day [of BTN’s coverage] is enough,” Fitzgerald said jokingly after practice. “It’s great. If you go back to before we had [BTN], from an exposure standpoint, BTN has helped our program exponentially. I don’t want to speak for our other 18 teams [at Northwestern], but for our football program to get our brand and what we do and how we do it to the nation has been a huge help.”

-       After practice, Fitzgerald was quiet about sophomore defensive end Deonte Gibson. “He’s a good player, that’s all I am talking about right now,” Fitzgerald said about Gibson. “I don’t want anybody to know about him. [Gibson] is having a great camp. He’s healthy. We did a little cleanup of his knee and he missed spring ball. But he’s healthy and practicing very well.”

-       Looking forward to Saturday’s scrimmage, Fitzgerald said it would be fairly conservative with mostly situational drills and that “a lot of young guys” would play.

-       Wide receiver Tony Jones said after practice that he expects the offense to not only be able to hurt defenses with big plays but also develop the ability to wear a team down over the course of a game.

-       Immediately following practice, Northwestern had its annual watermelon eating contests between the coaches and freshmen. The image of freshmen eating watermelon to the rind on their hands and knees in full pads was a sight to behold.