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Notes from Pat Fitzgerald's NIU press conference

Looking back on Cal, looking ahead to NIU

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

- When looking back at the Cal game, Fitzgerald felt that the biggest thing that plagued Northwestern was inconsistency. It was a tale of two halves. He was pleased with the defense's performance in the second half citing Cal's 2.5 yards per carry.

- The biggest revelation from week one, Fitz said, was the performance of the first-year players. Twenty one players competed for the first team as a college football player on Saturday. "They weren't very good," Fitzgerald said, "but they weren't very bad either." Overall, he said the performance was really encouraging. He also reiterated a point he made after the game. Fitz said that the veterans had plenty of opportunities to make plays but didn't make enough of them.

- Northern Illinois ran a Division I-leading 109 plays in a win over Presbyterian. Fitzgerald said that is a product of both NIU's offensive production and the Huskies' ability to keep their opponent's offense off of the field.

- As far as injuries are concerned, Fitzgerald said that Miles Shuler had been cleared to practice. The team is still waiting for tests on injured defensive back Dwight White.