Tuesday Practice Report

Northwestern needs one win to reach bowl eligibility, and their next chance for that sixth win comes on Saturday against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Wildcats were back on the practice field on Tuesday morning as they continued the game week preparations for Minnesota. PurpleWildcats.com brings you the latest from Evanston.

• The Wildcats spent part of their practice on the outdoor practice field, before moving inside to the Nicolet Center. Pat Fitzgerald said the team has better focus inside the facility.

• The team was in shorts and upper pads this morning. Practice lasted approximately two hours.

• Pat Fitzgerald was pleased with the Wildcats' effort in practice. Fitzgerald also said the team spent some extra time working on special teams, so they can be ready for Minnesota's strong unit.

Northwestern freshman cornerback Nick VanHoose served as scout team quarterback, giving the starting defense a simulation o Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray. Also, Evan Watkins and Zack Oliver each stepped in to give a different look.

• NU coaches have worked the defense on a tight rotation in games, but that is also the case for practice. Usual starters are taken out on occasion, giving them a quick breather. Senior linebacker Ben Johnson said the difference in the fourth quarter is noticeable.

• Freshman running back Treyvon Green took a big hit on a running play, but was back in the huddle the very next play. Green took the carry right through the hole and burned past the defense.

• On a tight spiral from Kain Colter, Jeremy Ebert—appearing to be human—bobbled the football. However, he made a spectacular running catch while juggling the ball.

• Fitzgerald spoke of Ebert's impact this season. He said, "If he's not All-Big Ten, I don't know who is."

• Freshman Jack Konopka has worked as the backup superback, behind Drake Dunsmore, but a healthy John Plasencia and Brett Nagel are showing promise.

• Kain Colter's best pass of the day came on a high-velocity strike over the middle to Drew Moulton, who hauled in the pass in front of the safeties.

• Freshman receiver Cermak Bland had a great catch on what was bound to be an Evan Watkins overthrow. Bland leaped in the air and hauled in the pass along the sidelines. The walk-on is very athletic, and has a great knack for finding the football. He may make an impact down the road.

• The NU coaches get a good look at the future while watching the scout team match up against the first-team defense. While some schools throw any random player on the scout team, Northwestern truly uses it as a way to evaluate.

• The scout team offensive line has had success against Northwestern's starting defensive line. The scout team line consists of (from left to right) Paul Jorgensen, Geoff Mogus, Matt Frazier, Neal Deiters, and Chuck Porcelli.

• The play of the day came from Paul Jorgensen—yes, the offensive tackle. Jorgensen caught a deflected pass and ran 50 yards to the endzone. Naturally, his teammates sprinted down the field for a wild celebration. Jorgensen experienced a lineman's dream.

The Wildcats return to the practice field on Wednesday morning, as they continue to prepare for Minnesota. Stay with PurpleWildcats.com for continued coverage of Northwestern game week.

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