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Pat Fitzgerald Week 6 press conference notes

Pat Fitzgerald had plenty to say after Northwestern’s 38-31 win.

Pat Fitzgerald

  • Brett Walsh has no structural injuries and is expected to make a full return to football activities.
  • C.J. Robbins has been named as the team’s fifth captain due to Matt Harris’ injury. May be a sign that Harris’ injury will be long-term?
  • Offensive player of the week: Austin Carr; Big playmaker: Justin Jackson
  • Defensive player of the week: Ifeadi Odenigbo; Big playmaker: Joe Jones
  • Special teams player of the week: Flynn Nagel
  • Fitz thought Clayton did a fantastic job of moving the pocket and helping out the offensive line. He also said he could not have anticipated Austin Carr’s massive success.
  • Fitzgerald on playing on the road: “I think as a road team it’s really important that you start the battle the right way.”
  • Fitzgerald had high praise for true freshman Ben Skowronek. Skowronek had quite a few targets against Iowa and should continue to be a part of the offense.
  • On Ifeadi Odenigbo and his career: “I just think that Ifeadi’s been through a lot. He comes in with unrealistic hype. That’s the nature of recruiting these days. It’s a blessing and a curse that you get form the dot com sites. He had an inflated, I think, image from the standpoint of external factors coming in. He was a guy that only played a couple years of high school football. Learning the game to the extent that he’s learned it has been really impressive...He’s a hard critic of himself and sometimes that can become debilitating to the point that early in his career he allowed one bad play to lead to one bad game. I’ve just seen him, as his career as unfolded, he’s really matured. We’ve seen flashes but hopefully now we see more consistent flashes.”
  • “You see it happen throughout the country. You see a lot of these guys who have the moniker of being a four or five-star guy and they keep getting asked ‘what’s wrong’. Well they’re learning how to play college football.”
  • “I think our rush lane discipline was improved over the last three weeks.” Fitz went on to say that the run defense really helped the defense get off the field.
  • Fitzgerald had high praise for Godwin Igwebuike. Fitz mentioned that the team is 2-1 with Harris on the shelf.
  • “I thought our offensive line against Iowa was solid but not spectacular. That was a solid game for that group but far far from spectacular...”
  • “Iowa came after us with more pressure then they had for anybody else we had seen and I thought Clayton handled that very well. I think he beat the blitz a couple teams... I thought he had the best game of his career... I think Clayton understands it’s not always about his completion percentage, it’s about making good decisions with the football.”
  • “I know we’re gonna have a competitive situation at corner,” Fitzgerald said when asked about Alonzo Mayo coming in the game. He did not excuse Mayo for giving up a huge play with Northwestern up 14 in the fourth quarter.
  • On Jack Mitchell: “He’s just gotta trust himself.” He compared Mitchell’s performances to over-compensating in golf.
  • On the return coverage: “We were terrible. We got our assed kicked. We lost one-on-one battles. Open competition in a lot of positions there...Our two coverage teams were horrible. Maybe the worst I’ve seen them play.”