Following Northwestern’s 52-3 loss against Ohio State, coach Pat Fitzgerald, quarterback Aidan Smith, center Jared Thomas, and linebacker Paddy Fisher took to the podium.
On the Ohio State offense: “They obviously played clean, played very efficiently. We had opportunities to get off the field. We had opportunities to change momentum. You gotta be able to get off the field. Those were momentum opportunities that we missed.”
On new players seeing the field down the stretch: “I’m glad we were able to get some guys in, give some guys some opportunities.”
On goals and expectations for the remainder of the season: “There’s a lot of ball left. There’s a lot of season left. Let’s get our seniors to a bowl game.”
On inserting Andrew Marty over Hunter Johnson: “Andrew’s from Ohio, a guy from Ohio. Those things are big for a kid from Ohio.”
On mistakes: “We gotta get better fundamentally. We can’t have self-inflicted wounds.”
On Ohio State’s offensive prowess: “They’ve got weapons who can score on every play. I think they’re the best team in the country”
On the quarterback situation: We’re not winning right now so we gotta look at everything. I gotta look at the tape before I make any decisions on personnel. I don’t know if I can point all the fingers on Aidan.
On Chase Young: I thought our offensive staff put together a good plan for (Chase) Young. He didn’t have as many big plays as he’s had against others.
On OSU’s total yardage: “I thought for the most part we were fine...take out some of those explosive plays against the 2s and our yardage total is pretty good considering what they’ve done to other teams.”
On third downs: “I think all those third down opportunities were big momentum swings. We just weren’t able to make those plays.”
On the offensive struggles: “I really don’t think it really was their defense. You saw the first drive we were moving the ball when we had to...it was just one-man breakdowns, shooting ourselves in the foot.”
On the seeming uptick this year in one-man breakdowns: “There’s been a change of leadership...we’ve just got to do a better job of holding our teammates accountable. Getting on them for dropped passes, or missed tackles, or me when I make a bad read. ”
On execution: “We just have to keep being aggressive in our preparation. I thought we did some pretty good things today on the offensive line. The standard doesn’t change just because we’re struggling.”
On the running game“We want to run the ball in every game we play, no matter who we play.”
On how he reacts to one-man breakdowns and general struggles: “If we [the offensive line] feel like, as a group, we are infectious with our energy and our execution, it permeates to the rest of the team....As a group, we pay attention to the things that do matter: our fundamentals and technique.”
On Ohio State: “They executed really well. That’s what a top-3 team in the nation looks like.”
On what they will do next week in the film room as they go over the loss: “We’ll just treat it like every other week. Nothing to sweep under the rug or get overworked about.”