Wednesday Practice Report

Believe it or not, we are now 19 practices into the fall and just ten days away from the season opener against Boston College. NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald said today's practice was the team's best practice yet. Get the details from the Nicolet Center with this practice report.

• It is hot outside. Northwestern moved practice inside to the Nicolet Football Center where it was just as hot inside as it was outside. The team practiced for just under two hours.

Pat Fitzgerald was very pleased with the team's effort. He told the team after practice, "If we practice this way, we're going to be one heck of a football team."

• In response to my opinion that the offense bested the defense today, Fitzgerald said, "That's your opinion, Chris, I don't know about that. I think both groups are really coming together."

• I got a good look at the secondary today. They devoted some time to fundamentals. They worked on catching deflected passes and finding the ball while screened. Jerry Brown said after practice, "I have to push them."

• Fitzgerald said Dan Persa is doing well in his return. "He's doing better every day…..He's feeling good and doing more each day."

• Now 19 practices in, Jordan Mabin admitted he's a little beat up right now. He added, "That's everyone's body, everyone in college football."

• The coaches got on the seniors a little bit. Jordan Mabin said, "They reminded us this is our last go-around." They responded with a great effort in practice.

• The linebackers worked on pursuit of the running back and taking the correct angle.

• Freshman quarterback Zack Oliver had a great practice. He on target all day long and appears to be throwing the ball with a higher velocity. His highlight of the day came when he connected with freshman wide receiver Cameron Dickerson on a perfect 40-yard pass.

• Staying with the freshmen, Christian Jones was very impressive today. He delivered the highlight of the day with a diving catch on a Zack Oliver pass. Pat Fitzgerald said of Jones, "He has a very bright future."

• Ten days before the season-opener, Jacob Schmidt is still with the first-team running backs. Mike Trumpy saw increased reps today.

• Freshman superback Jack Konopka saw some playing time with the first-team offense today as well. He has had a strong preseason at his new home.

• Jerry Brown suggested the versatile Ibraheim Campbell will have a few roles this season: safety and nickelback. Brown said, "Whenever you have a redshirt freshman playing two positions, you want to make sure he doesn't have too much on his plate. He's handled it really well."

• When asked if anyone in the secondary is locked in as a starter, Brown said with a smile, "Not until next Saturday."

Evan Watkins had a good day today. His best pass of the day came on a strike over the middle to Drew Moulton, who ran to the endzone.

• Coach Fitzgerald says the team began to implement gameplan for the Boston College game on Tuesday. Tomorrow, the team will have a practice that will simulate a game. That practice is closed to the media.

Post-Practice Video:
Pat Fitzgerald
Jerry Brown
Jordan Mabin

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