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Northwestern vs. Wisconsin Press Conference Notes

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Fitz wasn't too happy with the performance.

Will Ragatz

Here are some highlights from Northwestern's press conference after its 33-24 loss to Wisconsin in Madison:

Pat Fitzgerald

  • On the passing of former Purdue head coach Joe Tiller: "I wanna express my thoughts and prayers to the Tiller family. You wanna talk about a guy who was incredibly gracious to a guy who had no idea what he was doing. What a great man for our game, what a great man for our conference and what a great man for Purdue."
  • On the game as a whole: "We started the right way, getting the turnovers we need and we don't capitalize on it. To only have three points off the turnovers in the first half was obviously the difference in the game in the first half. In the second half, there were miscommunications and we give up a couple explosive plays, credit Wisconsin obviously for making those. Then we just all the sudden decided to stop executing on offense for some reason for about 16, 18 minutes. Very disappointed in the outcome of the game, credit Wisconsin. We've got to get our guys to be more consistent to win games like this."
  • On Quintez Cephus's 61-yard catch and run in the second half: "He was wide ass open. That was an issue of miscommunication on a play in a rep we actually practiced this week."
  • On failing to convert on several third and one's in the first half: "No excuse. It's the difference in the game. Good for them, they did a great job defensively. I tip my hat to them. I mean, it's embarrassing, quite frankly. It's embarrassing. Third and one and you get your lips knocked off. Obviously our sense of urgency in those times wasn't good enough."
  • Fitz said Justin Jackson didn't practice all week, but he hopes Jackson will get back to 100 percent at some point this season.
  • On Clayton Thorson's performance: "We lost. It's our job to win. The quarterback gets all the credit when we win and gets all the blame when we lose. We lost."
  • On Jeremy Larkin's performance: "I think Lark's gonna be a heck of a football player for us. He's tough, he's got great balance."
  • On the offensive line: "We have to protect better, we've got to open and [Clayton's] got to get it out of his hands so that's the whole thing with the passing game. When it's off it's just really ugly and for a while today it was really ugly. For a good portion of it though we had some good success."

Clayton Thorson

On getting beat up: "I feel fine. We lost and that's what hurts more than anything."

On holding the ball too long: "I held the ball too long, whether it's throwing it away or just making quicker decisions. It starts with me."

On Justin Jackson being banged up: "He's not practiced a few times over the course of his career. He came out ready to play, ready to go. He battled today. He's pushing through a lot of tough things. He's a warrior."

On the safety that in effect ended the game: "It was a good play call to get me out of the pocket, I just gotta throw it away. I thought I could get around him, he's a good player, I just gotta throw it away. There's no ifs ands or buts about, I just gotta throw it away."

Garrett Dickerson

  • On maintaining consistency offensively: "We just gotta come ready to play. We came out in the third quarter, didn't do what needed to do, and it set us back. We just gotta be ready to attack everything."

Godwin Igwebuike

  • On the 61-yard pass play to Cephus: "Better communication. Just gotta have better communication between me and Trae [Williams]."
  • On the team's outlook at this stage in the season: "It's still early in the season, there are a lot of opportunities in front of us. We realize there are some mistakes we made today that cost us but we are still a great team with a lot of ball to play. I still feel like we haven't put together a full game. Last year we found ways to win and that's what we're going to try to do now."

Brett Walsh

  • On Wisconsin's offense: "I think they just executed what they were trying to do. They just out-executed us, I suppose. It's just a game of inches, we just need to make another play."