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Northwestern beats Stanford: postgame press conference notes

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Pat Fitzgerald, Clayton Thorson, Dean Lowry and Anthony Walker spoke to the media after the win over Stanford.

Photo: Henry Bushnell

Here's what Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and Wildcat players had to say after Northwestern's win over Stanford:

Pat Fitzgerald

- Fitzgerald said it was one of the best performances he's seen from his defense in his time at Northwestern.

- Fitzgerald said they expected heat and humidity, but athletic trainer Tory Lindley and strength coach Jay Hooten helped the coaching staff come up with a great plan to handle the weather.

- Fitzgerald: "This is stop one on the train."

- Fitzgerald said Thorson "outplayed a fifth-year senior," Stanford QB Kevin Hogan.

- Fitzgerald said he liked the fact that Thorson was aggressive on a third-down throw to Miles Shuler in the fourth quarter that picked up a key first down for Northwestern.

- Fitzgerald lauded the way his defensive line "controlled the line of scrimmage on every single play," and called it a "dominant" performance.

- Fitzgerald, in reference to Christian Jones and Miles Shuler: "We've got our weapons back now."

- Fitzgerald said he thought the staff brought Thorson into the game with the right kind of plan to allow him to be successful.

- Fitzgerald mentioned that this is "a statement game about recruiting."

- Fitzgerald said he expected Stanford to utilize play action passes more than they did.

- Fitzgerald on wearing shorts: "That's up to [associate director of equipment operations] Curtis Shaner. Curt-dog makes those decisions. If Curt-dog wants us to wear shorts, we'll wear shorts."

- Apparently some Stanford players, speaking to the media afterwards, were surprised by how calm Thorson was.

- Fitzgerald confirmed that the reason for canceling four of the six scheduled games with Stanford was the Big Ten's move to a nine-game conference schedule.

- Fitzgerald: "There's no reason anybody should've talked about us. We had no evidence from the way that we finished last year. But we had a lot of evidence from the way we worked this offseason."

- Fitzgerald: "This didn't happen by accident."

Clayton Thorson

- Thorson commended the offensive line, especially for the hole they created on his touchdown run.

- Thorson, laughing, on the offensive linemen: "They really hit your head hard when you score."

Dean Lowry

- Dean Lowry said it felt like the defensive line "unleashed a caged bull" on Saturday. "It's been a long time coming."

Anthony Walker

- Anthony Walker: "Football is a fun game, and playing with a lot of swagger... I'm from Miami, so that's what I'm used to."