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Northwestern practice notes: October 23

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Will Northwestern move the ball against bye!?

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It was a short practice today on the bye week. Here's what happened.

- Trevor Siemian didn't practice today, which is good, considering that he's "not even close to 100 percent." Zack Oliver and Matt Alviti both got a lot of reps in. Oliver is still the No. 2. He showed off some mobility at one point. Alviti did as well, though that's expected.

- Warren Long had a couple of nice runs. He got more runs than Justin Jackson, who was presumably getting some rest after doing a lot of work the past two weeks.

- It was not the best day for wide receiver blocking. It was also not the best day for wide receiver catching.

- Dan Vitale, Kyle Prater, Collin Ellis and Miles Shuler were all held out of practice. No word on their injuries. Neither had walking boots on, as some had worried. Godwin Igwebuike and Ibraheim Campbell were also out and Kyle Queiro was playing in their place. Don't read a ton into this stuff. The team is extremely precautionary with injuries during bye weeks.

- Other than the guys who might have been banged up, everyone was practicing. Losing two in a row won't get anyone the day off.

- The first team offense went against the first team defense in the scrimmage portion of practice. Usually it's one vs. twos.

- The up-downs were back after some mistakes.

- It was Country Thursday today! Best day of the week.

- In non-football news, Rocky Miller Park is being dug up by excavators right now, so that's cool. Baseball needed those renovations badly.

- Fitz said some interesting things after practice:

- He's "tired of" people calling out Trevor Siemian for many throws that he said the receivers messed up on.

- Regarding the receivers, Fitz said they have to step up or else "we're going to continue to recruit really good receivers and they're going to continue to be twos."

- I asked Fitz about this notion that NU plays bend-don't-break on defense and bets that offenses can't put together long drives to be successful, but then tries to do the same thing on offense. He disputed that NU plays "bend-don't-break" and said they play quarters coverage and try to keep everything in front, which is essentially the same thing. So either he doesn't see that comparison or just didn't want to answer it.