Wednesday Practice Report

The Wildcats took to the practice field on Wednesday morning as they put in two hours of work inside the Nicolet Football Center in Evanston. Pat Fitzgerald was pleased with the team's effort, and Northwestern got some good news during practice. Get the details in this practice report.

Pat Fitzgerald moved his team indoors as the wind gusts became too much. The Wildcats put in two hours of work inside the Nicolet Center.

• Senior quarterback Dan Persa was practicing, as Fitzgerald suggested yesterday. Persa admitted to still having pain in his foot, but that shouldn't hold back his on-field performance, and that was evident in practice. Persa looked to be his usual self.

• With the injury being in his right foot—his planting foot—potential problems could persist. However, the senior had no problem in finding his usual accuracy and arm strength. Persa may have to play through the pain, but it won't hurt his game.

• In his first pass of the day, Persa connected with Drew Moulton for a 40-yard strike over the middle.

• Fitzgerald was pleased with how practice went today—especially with his starting quarterback under center. Northwestern has put in some new play-calling signals on offense to combat with former NU assistant Kevin Johns, who is now on staff at Indiana.

• Fitzgerald said he is still in contact with Johns, and enjoyed visiting with him over the summer in Evanston.

• The play of the day came from wide receiver Mike Jensen, who—in double-coverage—elevated and made an acrobatic catch on a Dan Persa pass. That drew many cheers from teammates and receivers coach Dennis Springer.

• It has been interesting to watch the chemistry develop between Dan Persa and freshman Christian Jones. While Jeremy Ebert remains Persa's undoubted go-to guy, there seems to be a great comfort level with the freshman wideout, who continues to make a name for himself this season.

• Persa connected with Jones on a long 35-yard completion today. On that play, it was encouraging seeing that Persa was able to get the usual zip on his throw—even despite the sore foot.

• Freshman quarterback Zack Oliver connected on a pass to … Zack Oliver. While facing the scout team defense, Oliver had a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage. He managed to haul it in and run for first-down yardage.

• The Wildcats hit the practice field again on Thursday, then will go through their usual walk-through in Bloomington on Friday afternoon. Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is set for 11:00 a.m., central time.

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