Northwestern held its weekly press conference in downtown Chicago at the Under Armour Brand House, where the program unveiled its 1995 throwback jerseys that will be worn against Iowa. Here's what NU coach Pat Fitzgerald had to say looking back at his team's 38-0 loss to Michigan and ahead to this weekend's homecoming game against Iowa:
- Cornerback Matt Harris will be out for "at least the foreseeable future" with broken bones in his face.
- Wide receiver Austin Carr was "a little banged up coming out of the game," according to Fitzgerald, "but ran around today. I'd probably list him as day-to-day." Carr was not listed on NU's two-deep depth chart.
- Fitzgerald was fairly upbeat Monday, and was pleased with his team's attitude during the first practice of the week Monday morning.
- Fitzgerald always names offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week. This week, there were no offensive or special teams players of the week. Deonte Gibson was the defensive player of the week.
- Fitzgerald said the poor performance against Michigan was a combination of poor execution and Michigan's players winning individual battles.
- Fitzgerald rued the offense's ineffectiveness on first and second down, which put it in third-and-long "all day."
- Fitzgerald on not throwing the ball past the line of scrimmage once on first down in the first half: "We've got to have more balance there, there's no doubt about that. We felt like we needed to get successful plays on first down, and we felt like some of our run schemes would give us our best opportunity for that. And obviously it didn't work."
- Fitzgerald said he thought quarterback Clayton Thorson "hung in there pretty well," but that the offensive line couldn't win up front, and the receivers had issues at the tops of their breaks.
- Fitzgerald: "[Michigan's defense] didn't do anything that we did not prepare for. That's probably where our offensive guys are most frustrated. I met with some of the leadership guys on our offense... and they said, ‘everything you guys showed us last week is exactly what they did.'"
- Fitzgerald said there's extra motivation for Saturday because Iowa "is in the driver's seat in the Big Ten West."
- Fitzgerald: "Hopefully we'll prepare and play with that type of vigor and passion that [the 1995 team] played with."
- Gary Barnett, the coach of Northwestern's 1995 team that went to the Rose Bowl, will be the Wildcats' honorary captain Saturday for the homecoming game against Iowa. Barnett will address the team on Friday.
- There will be a pep rally on Thursday night at the Under Armour Brand House in Chicago featuring Northwestern's band, some famous alumni including Michael Wilbon, and former players, including Darnell Autry. There will also be a pep rally Friday on campus.
- Northwestern's game at Nebraska in two weeks will be another 11 a.m. CT kickoff. It will be on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.