MCCBOT Practice Report

The Wildcats started their weekend with a two-hour practice inside the Nicolet Center, wrapping up a busy week of bowl preparations. With one more practice still to go before a short holiday break, the Wildcats continued to implement the game plan. Go inside Northwestern's practice with this PW practice report.

• The Wildcats wrapped up a busy week of practice with a two-hour workout on Saturday morning inside the Nicolet Center. Pat Fitzgerald said Northwestern treated this as if it was game week, while slowly rolling out the game plan. "We don't want to give the guys everything, but we want to give them enough to be focused," he said.

• The team spent much of practice in individual position groups, before breaking out into team drills. The first-team offense saw some snaps against the first-team defense, before facing the scout team.

• Pat Fitzgerald was asked which Big Ten quarterback Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill resembled. His answer was actually a former Big Ten quarterback—former Wildcat Mike Kafka. Senior DT Brian Arnfelt added that Tannehill's size presents a challenge.

Jeravin Matthews appears to be at full health, and looked strong in practice. He looks to be moving around well after missing time earlier in the week.

• Freshman receiver Christian Jones continues to show his playmaking abilities in practice. The NU quarterbacks feel very comfortable throwing him the football. The 6-foot-3 target has a very bright future in a Wildcat uniform.

Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian each took plenty of reps at quarterback during practice. The coaching staff has done a nice job of getting the backups prepared if needed.

Brian Peters faced the ill-effects of his clubbed broken hand. What looked to be a sure interception was bobbled and dropped by the senior safety. Of course, he did intercept a pass against Minnesota with that club on.

• Sophomore quarterback Kain Colter showed some in-game (practice) maturity during practice. On a high snap, Colter scrambled back to recover the loose football, then immediately looked up, realizing his blockers had held the pocket. Colter then scrambled for first-down yardage. A smart, impressive play by Colter.

• At the end of practice, the coaches suited up for their own scrimmage, as the players carefully critiqued their coaches. Quarterback Mick McCall was beginning to get a bit too comfortable with his check-downs. NU receivers coach Dennis Springer dropped a pass from McCall—much to the enjoyment of his receivers. And running backs coach Matt MacPherson delivered a crushing stiff-arm while running for a touchdown. When asked who the best football player is on staff, Fitzgerald said, "None of them."

• The Wildcats return to the practice field on Monday morning for what is supposed to be a "physical" practice. The players will then travel home for a short holiday break, before returning to Evanston on Dec. 25.

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