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Northwestern practice notes: October 8

David Banks

- There was not a cloud in the sky above Northwestern's athletic complex today, and the temperature was around 50 degrees with a slight wind. Coincidentally, that's nearly exactly what most weather services are calling for on Saturday in Minneapolis.

- Matt Harris was wearing a red jersey instead of his normal practice jersey today, but he's fine and barring something unforeseen, will play Saturday.

- We haven't been tracking it too much, but it seems that Jimmy Hall really has cemented himself as the first string strong side linebacker, even on running downs.

- Solomon Vault was practicing and didn't appear to be noticeably hampered by any injury.

- The first team offensive line looked great today, albeit against the scout team defense, opening up gaping holes for the running backs.

- Especially in 7-on-7 drills, Matt Alviti looked extremely sharp, perhaps more so than he has in any practice I've seen this season.

- Unsurprisingly, the first team defense was doing a ton of work against the run. They'll see a lot of the Golden Gopher ground game on Saturday, and whether they can stop it will be a key to the game. They also seemed to be doing a good job of staying disciplined when covering the read option.

- Ibraheim Campbell was in a sweatshirt and shorts on the sidelines.

- It's irrelevant with regards to this season, but it's really nice to see Christian Jones in workout gear on the sidelines moving around pretty well and encouraging and coaching his teammates.

- Two weeks ago, it was evident that NU was practicing with a chip on its shoulder. After two big wins, one of the most important things is to retain that intensity. And while there weren't as many up-downs today, a lot of the energy is still present.