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Pat Fitzgerald Press Conference Notes: Sept. 16

- Fitz spent a couple minutes rattling off stats about how good Maine is, and he pointed out that the Black Bears are undefeated. Those were some tough wins against Bryant, Assumption and UMass.

- Fitz said he liked how the offense responded, but was upset with the sloppy start against Western Michigan.

- Fitz said Matt Harris' progression is similar to Dan Vitale last year. He'll get involved more later in the season, like Vitale did last year, but he's been involved in the gameplan.

- "Nobody plays 500 anymore." According to Fitz, Ibraheim Campbell is good at it.

- Fitz said NU had good "communication" with Kyle Flood of Rutgers on the Miles Schuler transfer. Schuler will be a "fast scout team player" this year and will be a candidate to join the receiver rotation next year. NU had recruited him out of high school.

- A good stat from Dave Eanet: NU doesn't have a punt return yet. Fitz: "We haven't seen a consistent punter yet." Tony Jones has had a lot of fair catches this year. "We've seen three opponents really not kick us the ball," Fitz said. "I guess that's a sign of respect."

- Venric Mark is still day-to-day. Would he have played if this were Big Ten season? Fitz wouldn't say.

- Fitz said Western Michigan is still learning how to win. Maine "knows how to win."

- Fitz said he expects to see a lot of improvement this week because the players can get into more of a practice routine. NU will practice at 9:30 AM this week, which is the typical practice time during the season.

- Brandon Vitabile said the line and Kain Colter asked the coaches, "Can we just run at them and see how that works?" He also said the coaches didn't mind the suggestion to change the play calling a little bit. Colter had said he and the linemen thought the play calling was "too cute" at the beginning of the game.

- When asked if they would like to play fewer FCS teams, as the Big Ten has called for, Vitabile, Mike Turmpy and Dean Lowry all said something along the lines of "we can't control the scheduling." However, Lowry had a big grin the whole time and said, "Well they're not going to be as good as Ohio State, obviously."