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Northwestern vs. Nebraska postgame press conference notes

It wasn’t the happiest media availability.

Nebraska v Northwestern Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The Northwestern Wildcats fell 24-13 to the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ryan Field on Saturday night, despite forcing two Cornhusker fumbles at the goal line that turned into touchbacks. The loss dropped Northwestern to 1-3 on the season, with a tough October schedule and a bunch of road games upcoming.

Pat Fitzgerald

  • Fitz was, predictably, upset with his team’s performance after a mistake-riddled evening: “Obviously a disappointing loss. The reoccuring theme is the self-inflicted wounds, the missed field goals, missed extra points and missed tackles.”
  • On the defensive miscues which allowed Nebraska to gain over 500 yards: “There weren’t a whole lot of plays that we couldn’t have stopped...The secondary support was taking bad angles and missing tackles.”
  • On the Clayton Thorson end zone interception (pass intended for Macan Wilson): “We needed to have the receiver cross the safety’s face and he stayed inside. That’s on both of those guys, Clayton and the receiver...not converting there really cost us.”
  • On the two Nebraska fumbles: “One was a miscue by them and the other we stripped the ball out. That was a heck of a play by Godwin.”
  • Fitz probably repeated the phrase “missed extra point, missed field goal” 5-10 times during the press conference. He was not pleased with kicker Jack Mitchell’s showing, to say the least.
  • On the secondary’s struggles: “It looked like we were flying out of there on the short throws and our eyes were out of it on the long throws. We’re going have to look at a lot of guys’ performances hard. We’re going to have to play more guys...The No. 1 one motivator to me is opportunity.”
  • On Austin Carr’s big receiving game: “I appreciate the [Carr] stats but we’re a 1-3 football team. When the score is 24-13, I could care less about individual stats.”
  • On the 1-3 homestand to start the season: “I think we had an opportunity to win all three losses and we didn’t...When you go out with the 1s [starters], you’re expected to perform, and if you don’t, you don’t deserve to be out there.”
  • On next week’s game at Iowa: “When we get out in Iowa City, we have to perform. It’s a tough environment and we’ll have to perform...If we don’t get out there with energy, we’re going to get our fannies whipped.”
  • On the starting kicker position: “That job’s obviously wide open right now. We can’t leave four points out there. If we get those, it’s a totally different game down the stretch...[Mitchell]’s doing a great job kicking off but he and Matt [Micucci] will battle it out this week.”
  • On the offense’s big 3rd down problems: “I’ll have to look at the entire tape before we pass judgement. The narrative is that we had two 3rd downs that we had bad holding penalties on...The young men in that locker room have got to figure out the discipline that it takes to become a winner.”

Clayton Thorson

  • On his first interception: “I think I could have hit another guy for a touchdown. I probably could have put it right on that receiver as well. But, it’s not just that receiver’s fault.”
  • On his 42-yard touchdown run: “I saw a lane, Brad North made a big cut block and there was just no one there.”
  • On the coaching staff riding the team hard: “We’ve had two tough weeks of practices. Our coaches have really gotten on us about finishing drives and self-inflicted wounds. We need to keep staying together.”On

Austin Carr

  • On the state of the team: “Well, we’re close. I think as a team, we’re tired of being close. Offensively, we need to finish. Defensively, we need to put a whole game together...We can’t let these losses ruin our season. We’re going to look forward, and have to keep pushing.”
  • On finishing drives: “It’s just mental toughness. Getting deep into a drive, we have to lock it in...Winning a Big Ten game is hard, I think we can just get tougher in the head game.”
  • On the receivers’ improved chemistry with Thorson: “I think a whole offseason with Clayton and all the wide receivers working together has started to show. As a group of wide receivers, we’re as confident as we’ve ever been. It’s not just me out there, it’s four or five different guys and Clayton trusts us all.”

Jaylen Prater

  • On Tommy Armstrong: “He’s a good player. I don’t think we did too poorly of a job containing him today, we just need to be better at doing the little things right.”

Godwin Igwebuike

  • On the defense: “It comes down to preparing the right way. A lot of guys have to step up. We need to trust ourselves and our technique, being where we need to be. We didn’t do that today. We still have a full season ahead of us.”