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Monday Press Conference Notes: Pat Fitzgerald, Clayton Thorson, Wisconsin

Go ‘Cats!

Pat Fitzgerald

  • Bowling Green Players of the Week: Garrett Dickerson, Tyler Lancaster, Montre Hartage (Big Play of the Week), Luke Otto (Inside NU OP-ED: GOAT kickoff specialist)
  • Fitzgerald complimented Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst and said it will be a hard challenge to play in Madison this weekend.
  • “The minute he got on campus I thought he had that type of potential,” Fitz said, when asked about Justin Jackson becoming an all-time great Northwestern running back. Jackson is within range of the NU all-time rushing record this weekend.
  • On the kickoff return game struggling: “We’ve got a new battery in the back and we haven’t been 100 percent with the two new guys. We’ve been consistently inconsistent with our one-on-one matchups...we’re a definite work in progress in that aspect.”
  • Northwestern is 13-13 in its last 26 games with Wisconsin. “It seems like they've been back and forth games. The team that makes fewer mistakes usually wins.”
  • At Big Ten Media Days, Garrett Dickerson was not named to the Mackey Award list for the best tight ends of the country. Fitzgerald said he poked fun at Dickerson by saying “hey, they don’t think you’re good enough.” Fitz also added that “he’s just been really productive...He's just been awesome in his program."
  • On the competition between Nathan Fox and Paddy Fisher at linebacker: “I think both guys are playing pretty well. I think the guy who’s been the most consistent will get the most reps. I think Paddy’s been that guy right now.”
  • On Matt Alviti: “Other guys you’ve seen in his situation have typically transferred.”
  • On Northwestern being valued at $163 million by the WSJ: “Obviously our program has grown since a commitment was made to Coach Barnett and it wasn’t always there. It makes me think back to the guys who played here before me, who didn’t have that support. I’ve gotten to know a ton of guys who came here and put the purple-and-white on before I did. It’s a totally different football program, and that commitment has shown.”
  • “You’re playing an enormous, athletic offensive line, the best tight end in the country, great stable of backs, and Hornibrook. What did he go, 18-of-19 against BYU? That’s unheard of. We’ve gotta execute fundamentally, execute our calls and get ready for a physical battle.”
  • 13 playing true freshmen: “I think every year guys are getting more prepared in terms of strength and conditioning. I’ve been really impressed by this group as a whole. It is one of those years. We’ve had injuries that have forced us to play more guys across the board. I’m going to try to play the best eleven guys on every rep.”
  • “I think Godwin’s been outstanding. I just think his demeanor...he’s been really positive, he’s been really upbeat. This is the best I’ve seen him from a leadership standpoint.”

Clayton Thorson and Paddy Fisher

  • “I’d rather throw it 15 times and win the game then not throw it 50 times and lose. Whatever the team needs me to do.”
  • Thorson on Justin Jackson: “He’s really consistent off the field. He’s more banged up than you guys now, and he’s able to get his body ready every week.”
  • Thorson remembering first Big Ten game: “The margin of error is so small. I think my first Big Ten game was against Minnesota...I remember when we scored I was like ‘finally’, and then we piled on in the second half.”
  • Thorson on whether Paddy Fisher is ready for his first Big Ten game: “Look at that neck. He's got a Big Ten neck."