• A number of key players sat out of today's scrimmage. In total, 15 players did not participate. Included on that list are Dan Persa, Jeremy Ebert, Drake Dunsmore, Al Netter, Ben Burkett, Vincent Browne, Brian Peters, and also Jacob Schmidt, who was recently named first-team running back.
• The only first-team offensive lineman to play was new center Brandon Vitabile.
• NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald said of the team's effort, "I thought they came out with a good attitude. We had some good things on both sides."
• Fitzgerald made a point of preaching to the team that there's "two big weeks left." He added, "We've got to look at this as not the end, but the beginning."
• Fitzgerald went on to say, "I like where we're at right now, I'm just glad we don't play a week from today."
• The offense was most impressive during the scrimmage. They managed a few long, sustained drives. Trevor Siemian led the offense down the field for a drive that took 14 plays and went 58 yards. The drive was capped off by a touchdown strike to sophomore wide receiver Venric Mark, who had an impressive showing during the scrimmage.
• Siemian finished completing seven of nine passes for 49 yards.
• Sophomore quarterback Kain Colter, listed as Northwestern's second-string quarterback, was the first quarterback on the field. He generated a long drive down the field which ended with a field goal kicked by Jeff Budzien.
• Colter finished the day completed two of three passes for 28 yards.
• Evan Watkins was the leader in passing. He finished with 82 yards and completed eight of 14 passes.
• Northwestern's newest superback Jack Konopka showed off his catching ability with a 19-yard reception.
• Coach Fitzgerald was frustrated in the defense's inability to stop the long drives and get off the field. He said that is not a carryover from last season and added, "I like where they're at."
• When asked of Jacob Schmidt working in at first-team running back, Fitzgerald said, "I think it's camp, it's very fluid competition. Every rep counts." He added, "We're really close, nobody has separated themselves, all three have played really well, but we're looking for consistency. For the first (ten) practices, Jacob has been the most consistent.
• The best kick of the day came off the boot of Steve Flaherty, who connected on a 50-yard field goal. Pat Fitzgerald said that both Flaherty and Budzien are "doing a really good job."
• For the senior class, this will be their last practice at Camp Kenosha. Vince Browne doesn't have any sentimental feelings as he leaves town. "It's been good, but I'm not going to miss it," he said.
• Browne gave his assessment of the defense's performance. "We started out slow," he said. "We were a little soft inside. Overall, it was a pretty good deal."
• Bryce McNaul is excited about how the defense looks, and specially the linebackers. He said, "I could go down the list of the linebackers room, but I'm really excited about the guys playing around me."
• McNaul also spoke of having four coaches at linebacker (Pat Fitzgerald, Mike Hankwitz, Randy Bates, and Tim McGargile). He said, "I've got to feel like one of the luckiest linebackers in the world."
• The Wildcats will next practice on Monday afternoon at the Great Lakes Naval Base. For Bryce McNaul, whose brother serves in the army, this is a humbling experience. "I can't say enough about the sacrifice they make on our behalf," said McNaul. "To be able to give back a little bit is tremendously humbling, a privilege, and something I take to heart."
Below are statistics from today's scrimmage, courtesy of NU Athletic Communications.
Passing Statistics: Evan Watkins -- 8-of-14, 82 yards, Trevor Siemian -- 7-of-9, 49 yards, 1 TD, Kain Colter -- 2-of-3, 28 yards, Zack Oliver -- 2-of-2, 22 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Statistics Kain Colter -- 2 carries, 23 yards, Treyvon Green -- 7 carries, 18 yards, Jordan Perkins -- 4 carries, 17 yards, Mike Trumpy -- 2 carries, 15 yards, Adonis Smith -- 5 carries, 12 yards, Tyris Jones -- 6 carries, 12 yards, 1 TD, Tim Hanrahan -- 4 carries, 8 yards, Zack Oliver -- 1 carry, 8 yards, Evan Watkins -- 1 carry, 4 yards, Venric Mark -- 1 carry, 3 yards, Trevor Siemian -- 4 carries, (-13) yards
Receiving Statistics Venric Mark -- 3 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD, Drew Moulton -- 6 catches, 34 yards, 1 TD, Tony Jones -- 1 catch, 27 yards, Jack Konopka -- 1 catch, 19 yards, Cameron Dickerson -- 2 catches, 12 yards, Brendan Barber -- 2 catches, 12 yards, Rashad Lawrence -- 1 catch, 10 yards, Demetrius Fields -- 1 catch, 6 yards, Adonis Smith -- 1 catch, 1 yard, Mike Jensen -- 1 catch, 0 yards
Defensive Statistics Davon Custis -- 6.5 tackles, Damien Proby -- 6 tackles , Chi Chi Ariguzo -- 3.5 tackles, 2 pass breakups, David Nwabuisi -- 3 tackles, Timmy Vernon -- 3 tackles, Bryce McNaul -- 2.5 tackles, Michael Bolden -- 2.5 tackles, Jimmy Hall -- 2.5 tackles , Daniel Jones -- 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup, Doug Diedrick-- 2 tackles, Anthony Battle -- 2 tackles, 1 sack, C.J. Bryant -- 1.5 tackles, Bo Cisek -- 1 tackle , Collin Ellis -- 1 tackle , Ricky Weina -- 1 tackle , Sean McEvilly -- 1 tackle , Mike Eshun -- 1 tackle , Hunter Bates -- 1 tackle , Kevin Watt -- 1 tackle