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Northwestern Week 7 Press Conference Notes

Pat Fitzgerald joked about playing linebacker, and was quite frustrated with the O-Line.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Fitzgerald

(quotes paraphrased slightly, at points)

  • “Little bit of a homecoming for me, being a former Terrapin. Started my coaching career there under Ron Vanderlinden...I follow the Idaho Vandals, I follow Colorado still.”
  • “I thought our defensive line dominated the game.” Fitz noted they had the play wrong on the 53-yard run, including the ref taking out the safety.
  • “We’ve got to get more consistent offensively, especially up front.”
  • On NU’s improved pass rush: “When you face a heavy RPO [run-pass-option] team, it’s pretty hard to get a pass rush. We played BG, we played Nevada, we played Duke and all three of these teams were heavy-RPO teams. Maryland has a lot of RPO in what they do also. Wisconsin, none, and on Saturday, a little, but we dealt with it well.”
  • On Northwestern’s identity and whether they’re now more of a defensive team: “I think we’re getting healthier offensively, which should help. I would just say right now I don’t really ever look at those types of things.”
  • “They’ve gotta play fast and cut it loose. I see that happening on our defensive line.”
  • Joked about a multitude of options to replace Fisher in the first half. Warren Long, Nathan Fox, Nate Hall and himself were mentioned.
  • On Northwestern’s offensive line: “I don’t have another solution because I’m trying to get five guys to play constantly. When five guys emerge, than five guys will play. Deep thoughts with Pat Fitzgerald, right there. I think they’re overthinking things. That option play (on fourth and 3) should’ve been a touchdown. And an inside guy that we should have blocked should make a play. And when it doesn’t work, you ask ‘why did you call that?’.”