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Northwestern vs. Bowling Green postgame press conference notes, video

Smiles all around after an easy victory for the Wildcats.

Northwestern’s head coach and players were relaxed and happy after a comfortable win over Bowling Green.

Pat Fitzgerald

  • Fitz opened the press conference by congratulating Lisa Byington on being the first woman to call play by play on BTN
  • ”I think we responded really well, we had a great week of practice.” Later emphasized getting up off the mat and coming out swinging early this week.
  • Fitz said he had a “good feeling” walking into the locker room after Duke. Said that the attitude was good and everyone was ready to fix their mistakes and come back this week.
  • Fitz on this upcoming week: “we need the bye, we’re obviously beat up, have to get some guys healthy.”
  • Fitz mentioned that Thorson’s response was outstanding after a rough game against Duke and that “he really bounced back well.”
  • On Garrett Dickerson’s big game: “Clayton took what they gave us, Dickerson was able to get himself open and he had a great game. Hopefully it’s one of many”
  • On improvement moving forward: “there’s a ton we have to work on, so many things in all three phases.”
  • For the bye week, Northwestern will give the players Sunday and Monday off, then they’ll be back at it in practice towards the end of next week.
  • Fitz focused on not turning the ball over. Even though they weren’t crucial against Bowling Green, the team has been very turnover prone: “We’ve got to be able to put that game away when it was there.”
  • Fitz also mentioned the pass rush. He said the run pass option has made it hard for the rush to hit home, but they still need to do better anyway. Said he thought against Bowling Green was the best they’ve been so far.
  • On Bowling Green’s offense: “BG presented a lot of problems offensively and being able to hold that group to 7 points is impressive”
  • Fitz called the running back room “very competitive” and that all the guys are ready to go whenever. They’ve talked to them about trying to do too much though, not trying to break a huge play when they can take the 4 or 5 yard gain.

Clayton Thorson, Tyler Lancaster and Garrett Dickerson

  • Thorson on improvement: “There’s always stuff we need to work on, you saw how we started the third quarter there.”
  • Lancaster: “It was a bit of a confidence boost for the defense today”
  • Dickerson on his career day: “I wouldn’t have had any of that without our o-line and without Clayton. But a lot of it was what they were giving us. It was my opportunity to make a play and I went out and did that.
  • Clayton: “you always go into a game thinking you’re going to do well. I felt confident going into last week against Duke and obviously didn’t get it done. But I felt confident tonight and our receivers did a great job catching the ball.”
  • Lancaster: “It’s definitely a high coming off a great win in the locker room, but we need to treat the next game like it’s our Super Bowl, we have to treat every week like that.”
  • Lancaster: “Coach Hank came in with a great game plan this week and it helped some more guys get pressure and get more guys in the backfield. If we can’t get off those one-on-one blocks we won’t be back there.”
  • “The linebackers flying around behind us is what really gets us going. We came into the week knowing we needed to get more pressure and the young linebakers really brought it well and helped us,” Lancaster said.
  • Thorson on Skowronek: “He does that all the time in practice.” Told a story about how Anthony Walker Jr. was impressed by Skowronek in practice his freshman year after catching a back shoulder touchdown and thought Skowronek was “the best guy on the team” as a true freshman. Thorson took this comment with a grain of salt.

Godwin Igwebuike and Bennett Skowronek

  • Igwebuike, a running back in HS, on his 45-yard fumble return: “as soon as I picked it up I had some flashbacks, had to remember what I had done.”
  • Skowronek on his TDs: “They were both just go routes and Clayton threw perfect balls both times.”
  • Ben: “When the offense is converting, when things are working, the energy on the sideline.”
  • probably the best week of practice we’ve had since I’ve been here
  • Godwin: “It’s cool because we are pretty deep, if we weren’t we would be in real trouble right now. We still have some veterans back there and also some talented young guys.”
  • Godwin, on the difference between playing at a crowded Camp Randall and Duke: “It’s almost harder to go to a place like Duke...hard to get juice...had to get riled up, everybody has got to be ready to go to be ready to play.”
  • Bennett said he gets very excited when he has one-on-one matchups on the outside. He also credited the running game for many of those opportunities.