Northwestern (5-1 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) got crushed by Michigan (5-1, 1-0) by a score of 38-0 today at the Big House in the Wildcats' first defeat of the season. Here's what coach Pat Fitzgerald and some players had to say after the loss:
- On Matt Harris' injury: "Looked like a knee to the helmet. He had a laceration on his cheek...Most of [the treatment] was for precautionary purposes."
- On Dan Vitale's injury: "He got right back up. Tough kid, tough player."
- On the interception thrown by Clayton Thorson that was returned for a touchdown: "It looked like [Mike McHugh] had it."
- On the Michigan defense: "That front is fast and physical and big. We lost all or most of our matchups against it today." He also complimented Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
- On comparisons to last year's loss to Iowa: "Today, we responded at times [to adversity] but there's some things we'd like to have back on special teams...Against a good football team, you can't give the ball away. We did that today."
- On his team's performance overall: "We played terribly. I don't want to discredit Michigan but we played terribly...They kicked our butts."
- On the Northwestern defense: "When you get your fanny whipped like we did today, you look for small victories...We have to get the mistakes fixed."
- On how The Wildcats are going to overcome the loss: "We just have to flush this loss. We're a much better team than we played like today."
- On the poor offensive performance: "One-man breakdowns hurt us. Offense is an 11-man operation. We just have to get our attitude back."
- On the Michigan defense: "They brought it today." When asked if it was the defense he has played this year, Vitale said yes.
- On his injury: "Just a stinger. Felt good a few minutes after that."
- On his team's outlook: "All of our goals are still ahead of us. We can still win the Big Ten West, we just have to win all of our games. I have all the confidence in us."
- On Matt Harris: "He's standing on his two foot. He's alright. He's good right now."
- On the poor performance: "I think it's just one bad game. We let a few plays hurt us and we just didn't respond well. I don't believe the moment was too big for us."
- On Jake Rudock: "He's a good quarterback. He takes a good snapshot of what we're doing and had a good idea of what we were doing. He had good control of the offense and makes good decisions."
- On the defense as a whole: "Every game counts, and we just have to move on and progress. Specifically as a defense, we didn't show up as we should have and we won't let it happen again."
- On the lack of pressure: "We just have to win our battles. You have to give it to that offensive line, they blocked well for him. Also, Rudock knew when to make his reads and played a good game." Gibson said Rudock was able to manipulate the line to buy himself more time.