Wednesday Practice Report

"Hump Day" marks the halfway point of the week, and the halfway point of preparations for game day. The Wildcats continued work for their game with the Army Black Knights. The team battled through rainfall in Evanston. PurpleWildcats.com was on the sidelines. Get the scoop from Northwestern with this PW Practice Report.

• Fall was in full swing in Evanston Wednesday morning. It was cold and rainy, but that didn't dampen the Wildcats spirit, as the team was excited as they continued preparations for Army

Jeremy Ebert, one of the best wide receivers in the Big Ten, has yet to really be a factor this season. Ebert had four catches for 54 yards against Boston College, and was stat-less against Eastern Illinois. "We're winning, so that's all that matters," Ebert said. "Getting that W is all I care about. If I catch one ball, if I catch no balls, it doesn't really matter as long as we have more points than them at the end of the game."

• Despite lack of big plays in games, Ebert had a couple highlights during practice, including a leaping catch and a one-handed touchdown grab just inside the pylon.

• Colter and Persa were both taking snaps, and despite the heavy rain, the throws were crisp and accurate for both quarterbacks. Colter was also mobile in the run game despite the wet conditions. This was also one of Persa's first times participating in team drills.

• The defense has given up big plays this year, and the Army offense can provide the big play. Jordan Mabin said the team is working out the kinks to stop big plays. "Going back and watching film, it's always been a one person breakdown on defense…there's just little things each and every week," Mabin said. "Staying disciplined, that's a big thing we're focusing on this week. Staying disciplined and being where you need to be."

Northwestern is preparing for its second road game of the season after starting the year at Boston College. Fitzgerald said every road game is different, but Mabin said he enjoys the road atmosphere. "It's always a lot of fun," he said. "We take an us against the world attitude…our backs are against the wall, we've got to scrape every play."

• Fitzgerald emphasized avoiding distractions as the team continues to prepare: "We talked about that on Monday, about eliminating distractions, and going out to play our style of football," Fitzgerald said. "It's going to be important that we do that."

• The Wildcats' injury report comes out tomorrow. Persa will likely be listed as questionable again, so the focus should be on running back Mike Trumpy's listing. The sophomore sat out against Eastern Illinois because of a lingering head injury, but has practiced this week.

• The team will practice again on Thursday, and will travel to New York on Friday. Thursday's practice is closed to the media.


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