Tuesday Practice Report

The Wildcats look to send out their seniors with a win at Ryan Field. Northwestern's final challenge of the regular season comes against No. 11 Michigan State. The team put in two hours of work on Tuesday morning. PurpleWildcats.com takes you to the Nicolet Center with this practice report.

• Though a bowl berth has already been clinched, don't look for Northwestern to have letdown this week. The Wildcats are keeping the intensity high as they prepare for Michigan State.

Pat Fitzgerald was pleased with the team's effort and focus. He said," I thought the guys picked up on the gameplan pretty quickly.

• The Wildcats started their session in the rain outside, before moving inside the Nicolet Center football field. Last week, Fitzgerald said that the team goes outside to play in the elements, then they move indoors to have better focus during team drills.

• Many of the Wildcat players were bundled up in layers. Florida native Trevor Siemian wins the award for most layers, wearing some sort of hood.

• As always, the music was blaring inside the Nicolet Center. Today's selection includes some hits from the 80s and a few heavy metal songs.

• Freshman quarterback Zack Oliver took the duty of simulating Michigan State's Kirk Cousins on the scout team. Oliver is gaining great experience going up against Northwestern's first-team defense each week in practice.

• Senior defensive end Vince Browne is returning to an increasingly larger role with the Wildcats' first-team defense.

Jeravin Matthews appears to be improved from a month ago. He is learning to combine his agility with the cornerback position.

• Junior tackle Chuck Porcelli is receiving snaps with the first-team offensive line. The 6-foot-7, 320-pounder is working in at left tackle at times.

• Just as he does in games, Evan Watkins helps to relay the signals from the sidelines in practice. Northwestern's practice scrimmages closely simulate a game setting.

• Freshman walk-on receiver Cermak Bland delivered the play of the day. On a pass toward the sidelines, Bland made an athletic leaping catch, pulling the ball in from Jeravin Matthews' tight defense.

• The Wildcats will be on the practice field on Wednesday morning, then again on Thanksgiving morning. Fitzgerald said players who live locally will be allowed to travel home, while others can join their position coach for dinner. Fitzgerald is spending his Thursday with family. Of course, when asked if he is watching the football games, he replied, "heck yeah!"

Stay with PurpleWildcats.com for coverage of game week as the Wildcats prepare to meet No. 10 Michigan State. PW will bring news, analysis, video, and much more. Make PurpleWildcats.com your authority for Northwestern-Michigan State.


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