Wednesday Practice Report

While most people prepare for Thanksgiving, the Northwestern Wildcats were preparing for their game with Michigan State. The team put in two hours of work, splitting time outside and indoors. Get the latest from Evanston with this practice report.

• On a cold, breezy morning along the lakefront, the Wildcats were out on the practice field preparing for Michigan State. Many of the players were dressed in long sleeves and socks.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was, again, happy with the team's effort. "I thought we put together two really good practices," he said.

• While the Wildcats were outside, the players split into their individual position groups. Later, both the NU first-team offense and defense put in work against the scout team.

• While facing the scout team offense, Redshirt freshman safety Ibraheim Campbell intercepted Zack Oliver, and returned it to the endzone. While running along the crowded sidelines, Campbell juked by Dan Persa, who jokingly jumped in front of the safety.

Venric Mark has been largely utilized on short-yardage passes, but showed today he can be a threat on deep passes, too. On a deep strike Mark, he split past the two safeties and ran to the endzone for a touchdown.

• Just a few weeks past an injury, freshman running back Jordan Perkins showed a bit of athleticism against the Wildcats' first-team defense. On a run up the middle, Perkins was clogged up at the line of scrimmage. He bounced off the line and ran down the sidelines for a long gain. Perkins has been impressive in his short time back on the field.

• The play of the day game from walk-on linebacker Doug Diedrick, who was working in as the scout team full back. On a pass down the sidelines, the 5-foot-10-ish fullback made a great leaping catch on a Zack Oliver pass, and sprinted down the sidelines—much to the excitement of Diedrick's teammates and head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

• After practice, with the team huddled, Pat Fitzgerald spoke to the team about being thankful for their opportunity. He explained his comments to the team. "There are a lot of people that have sacrificed and dedicated to help these guys get in this position right now. It's a great privilege blessing to be a part of this program. We feel as coaches, to work with a group of young men like this, the success on the field is one thing, but more importantly, who they are off the field. We have ten guys in graduate school; the entire class will graduate, or has already graduated. With the way they've given back—Al being a part of the good works team—I'm thankful for that."

• There were a few visitors at practice today. Four-star quarterback Matthew Alviti watched practice with head coach Dave Inserra, as members of the coaching staff greeted them on the sidelines.

• While many families and friends hold their annual Turkey Bowl, the Wildcats will spend their Thanksgiving morning back on the practice field.

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