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Press conference notes: Fitzgerald, players on 40-10 loss to No. 17 Iowa

EVANSTON, Illinois -- After his team lost by 30 or more points for the second-straight week, head coach Pat Fitzgerald as well Christian Jones, Dean Lowry and Nick VanHoose spoke to the media about the No. 20 Wildcats' 40-10 loss to No. 17 Iowa.

Here's what they had to say:

Pat Fitzgerald

- On Northwestern's two-game losing streak: "The team's got to make a decision...[Will it be] the team that was 5-0 and making plays...or the team the last two weeks?"

- Fitzgerald said that nothing Iowa did really surprised him. What maddened Fitzgerald, though, were missed tackles by cornerbacks and poor angles. Even when Northwestern defenders got to Iowa's ball-carriers, he said, there were far too many missed plays: "It just looked like fundamental [mistakes] today."

- Northwestern scored 10 consecutive points to end the first half, to make the game somewhat close at the break. What changed for Clayton Thorson and the offense? "It seemed like guys caught the ball for him," Fitzgerald said sarcastically, in reference to the wide receivers' miscues throughout the game.

- On what's changed over the past few weeks: "We've been in some battles against teams that have played well...When you play teams at a high level and don't execute, it compounds." He added: "We haven't come out flat. That hasn't been the problem. When you don't execute, that's a problem."

- Fitzgerald also said that the upcoming week of practice for Northwestern may not be the most enjoyable: "I'm gonna yell at them a lot, from a motivational standpoint...I believe in the guys in the locker room... but we got to get better."

- After starting running back Jordan Canzeri left the game with an injury, Iowa's Akrum Wadley ran for 204 yards and four touchdowns. "I've been playing Iowa for a long time and it just seems like they roll running back after running back after running back," Fitzgerald said. "I don't want to diminish his game, but we helped him."

- Fitzgerald's final thought: "I despise losing with a passion. I'll just leave it at that."

WR Christian Jones, DE Dean Lowry, CB Nick VanHoose

- Christian Jones on the wide receivers' collective struggles: "Week in and week out, we've got to find a way to catch the ball...You've got to take each one like you dropped five."

- Dean Lowry on what went wrong on defense: "Poor execution, guys not fitting right and too many one-man breakdowns. If you want to beat Iowa, you've gotta stop the run...there's no excuses in how we played today." Nick VanHoose added that on outside runs where he got caught too far inside, he needed to do a better job reading the crackdown blocks of Iowa's wide receivers.

- Jones said that the familiarity between Northwestern and Iowa meant there weren't any surprises. "It was a simple thing...We knew what their defense was gonna run, and we just didn't execute."

- Lowry on what he expects from Fitzgerald this week: "The usual passionate energy. We know that great teams respond to adversity. As seniors and leaders of this team, we've got to set the tone."