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Northwestern Practice Notes: October 1

Take a look at notes, highlights and quotes from practice.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Notes from practice:

- Defense outplayed the offense for the majority of practice. Mick McCall was preaching "attention to detail" as the offense did up-downs, which there were plenty of.

- The highlight of the day was a one-handed, back-shoulder grab by Tony Jones on a deep pass from Trevor Siemian. Jones had a similar catch against Penn State, but it was not nearly as challenging.

- Clayton Thorson again mimicked Tanner McEvoy against the first team defense. Thorson struggled early in 7-on-7 but fell into rhythm with his receivers as practice moved along.

- Colin Ellis and Matt Harris were practicing and taking first team reps.

- Ellis and Harris split time with Anthony Walker and Marcus McShephard on the first team. Walker is not expected to start after his breakout performance last week, but he should see the field more often.

- Offense had some success in the red zone, where Siemian threw back-to-back touchdowns in 7-on-7. Later, Kyle Prater caught a pair of TDs from Siemian and Oliver.

- Toward the end of practice, Treyvon Green busted a big run and Cameron Dickerson caught a touchdown pass. Shortly after, Thorson was picked off Nick VanHoose on a deflected pass.

- The kick return unit opened some huge holes for Miles Shuler. Shuler had a big 42-yard punt return against Penn State but didnt get much of a chance on kick-offs due to the defensive success.

Post-practice quotes:

- Fitz said it's been really inspiring to see the way Matthew Harris has responded from his injury in the Penn State game. He said the training staff and doctors did an unbelievable job Saturday, and their handling of Harris was "textbook."

- "He's been very active the last two days, and we feel very encouraged with things for Saturday." -- Fitzgerald on Harris

- When asked about Wisconsin, Fitz said, "It's an absolutely ginormous offensive line and tight ends are really good at the point of attack. They do a nice job trying to outnumber you by formation." Fitz added that his team has to do a good job up front, controlling their gaps and tackling against the Badgers.

- Fitz added that he let the team down a year ago going into the Wisconsin game. He said that he didn't see the signs that they weren't ready to play and didn't give the team a chance to win.

- Justin Jackson said the team has done a good job managing his workload, and it was a slow transition he was able to make. "Slowly each week I'm ready to handle more," he said.

- Jackson said they are focusing on pass blocking for the Wisconsin game, something he didn't do much of in high school.

- "We ran the ball 40 to 45 times a game, so it's definitely something new, but I think I'm getting better each week." -- Jackson on how he was used in high school compared to now.