Here's what Pat Fitzgerald, Clayton Thorson and other Northwestern players had to say after a 24-19 win over Ball State:
(Video of players, courtesy of Northwestern Athletics, below)
- Fitzgerald said he thinks Kyle Queiro has a broken arm. Queiro was seen on the sidelines with a full-arm cast in the second half. Fitzgerald said he would "be out a while."
- Fitzgerald on Godwin Igwebuike: "He got taken out by the medical staff... you can pretty much deduce why."
- Fitzgerald said there was no thought to replacing Thorson at halftime.
- Thorson: "In the first half, I was guessing a little bit." After the break, he said he started going through his progressions.
- Clayton Thorson's interception was an option route, and Thorson admitted that it was his mistake. Based on the way the Ball State cornerback was playing, Shuler ran the underneath route, which was the right decision based on the coverage. Thorson made the wrong read, and thought he'd be running a fly route. That explains why there was nobody in the area
- Fitzgerald: "Our guys have been sky high to play Stanford and Duke, and I obviously didn't do a good enough job getting them to the same place [tonight]. I thought we had good emotion all week, and I thought we came out of the tunnel ready to go, but we obviously didn't execute that way."
- Fitzgerald called Thorson's interception "a great punt." #B1G
- Our Josh Rosenblat asked Dan Vitale if he had ever seen Thorson get angry. "Maybe once, last game," Vitale said. "And then we kind of made eye contact — I was just like, 'calm down' — and he immediately was just smiling again. It's just kind of how he is."
Fitz on what he saw from Thorson in Q3: "He just trusted himself... When he needed to make some plays today, he did." Vintage Fitz.— Inside NU (@insidenu) September 27, 2015
- Fitzgerald said he didn't have much of a chance to talk to Clayton Thorson at halftime, but said the biggest thing for him in the second half was just taking care of the ball.
- Fitzgerald: "Our defense was on the field way too long."
- There was a lot of "next man up" talk. Traveon Henry said it's kind of tough personally to see two of his defensive backfield mates go down with injuries, but said that "in the heat of the game, you kind of just have to move on." Henry praised Terrance Brown's play in relief of Igwebuike and Queiro.
- Fitzgerald: "We didn't have to make a whole heck of a lot of adjustments" at halftime. "We just had to go out and play."
- Fitzgerald said there were no halftime adjustments to shade coverages over to Ball State wide receiver Jordan Williams' side. "It would have been nice if we won one of those 50-50 balls," Fitzgerald said. "It's hard for me to look at [defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz] and say, 'you know, Hank, we had a guy right there to make a play and he didn't make a play, I want you to change coverage.' It's hard to do that."
- Fitzgerald has yet another new way of not answering scheme questions: "Right... yeah," he said with a smile.
- Dean Lowry said he wasn't sure who blocked the extra point. "It could have been their lineman," Lowry said. "We got a pretty good surge on them."