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Northwestern vs. Penn State postgame press conference notes

Pat Fitzgerald wasn’t too happy.

Will Ragatz

Pat Fitzgerald

  • “I’m disappointed with our performance today. We had ample opportunities in the first half to seize momentum and failed to do so.”
  • On the offensive line: “It looked to me like a bunch of one-man breakdowns.”
  • On whether the offense had any bright spots: “That’s an awesome question. Got to give the credit to Penn State.” That’s all he said.
  • Fitz bemoaned the missed opportunities when Northwestern crossed the 50.
  • Targeting: “I’m a fan of the call, I think we need to eliminate head-to-head contact. I embraced both guys after those plays happened, I told them ‘I love you, but you got to lower the strike zone’...just gotta coach our guys better and be more disciplined.”
  • Limiting Barkley: “I think that credit goes up front to the d-line, we were able to keep our guys up front well, allowing the linebackers to flow.”
  • On a potential offensive resurgence: “I think absolutely, you gotta operate as one heartbeat, you gotta be in rhythm. It starts up front, and we got breakdowns in certain situations. That’s absolutely critical.”
  • On Thorson’s day: “We lost. We lose as a team. When you’re a quarterback and you win, it’s a great deal and you probably get too much credit. It’s hard to be successful when you got guys pushed up in your face.”
  • On Alviti package: “He hasn’t been a part of it earlier in his career because he hadn’t been healthy. Now that he is, maybe he should be. You busy Monday? We can gameplan.” (talking to the Trib’s Teddy Greenstein)
  • On being encouraged by the defense: “I think our team came ready to battle today, we came prepared, we just didn’t execute. There’s a lot of things which go through on your checklist to look at, why you’re not clicking. “
  • On offensive coaching changes: “I think any time we don’t have success it’s fair. Any of those types of feeling as a fan are absolutely fair. I look at things holistically. It starts with me.”
  • Fitz said that they had what “they wanted” on this play:
  • On Jackson: “It’s been a tough month. He looked much better today, I’m so happy for him.”

Clayton Thorson, Justin Jackson, Kyle Quiero

  • On whether Thorson was frustrated: “I’m more just disappointed. Our defense gave us an opportunity to win this game.”
  • Thorson on first INT: “I thought it was a good choice. I got hit, as I threw it. Tough to throw a spiral.”
  • Quiero on stopping the run: “The gameplan was kinda similar to last was just more of the same, focusing on surrounding the ball, keeping him inside and in front. We did that for the most part. He had one open run, we had Godwin on the tackle get picked by the ref...but we just gotta do more.”
  • Quiero on linebackers: “I see a good fight, I saw a group that was young and a question mark on our team step up quickly.” Mentioned that Gallagher was also impressive after replacing Fisher.
  • Quiero on the Fisher/Igwebuike targeting penalties: “I was really upset, I was fired up. But that’s just the game of football. We gotta keep moving forward.”
  • Quiero on avoiding targeting: “It’s difficult, but definitely something we work on every day, in regards to tackling. We’re working on fundamentals and basics every day, keeping your heads out of the tackle, but it’s easier said than done.”