Notes: NU keeping level head

The Wildcats are off to a hot start this season, but are keeping the mindset of a team that is anything but hot. Northwestern is staying level-headed as it turns the page to Big Ten play. PurpleWildcats.com offers notes, quotes, plus more from the Monday news conference in Evanston.

· Northwestern will wear a sticker on its helmet the rest of the season to honor Leon Brockmeier, an offensive lineman who died this weekend. · Senior Chuck Porcelli remains listed at first-string right guard, despite not starting the past two weeks. Even stranger, Neil Deiters, who has started at the position in place of Porcelli, isn't listed on the two-deep.

· It was the November game against Minnesota in 2011 where Northwestern threw its last interception. There have been none thrown this year. "I think the quarterbacks have made good decisions," said Fitzgerald.

· Fitzgerald offered high praise to senior right tackle Patrick Ward. "He was pretty close to that perfect game," Fitzgerald said. The one minus Ward posted was on a quarterback sneak. Fitzgerald later added Ward compliments for Ward's work in the classroom. "I'm not sure there's anybody smarter than Patrick Ward in college football today." Ward's worst grade at Northwestern was an A- in mechanical engineering.

· Northwestern is now set for two consecutive 11 a.m. starts. Said Fitzgerald: Instead of sandwiches and something else, it's going to be eggs and something else."

· Quinn Evans is listed with an 'OR' next to Demetrius Dugar at cornerback. Fitzgerald is pleased with Evans' play. "What I like about Quinn is he's very coachable," he said.

· In looking toward the past, Fitzgerald said he wishes the team fostered competition during the mid-season slump.

Northwestern players Trevor Siemian, Mike Trumpy, and Damien Proby joined the media.

· Trevor Siemian is OK after leaving Saturday's game briefly. "Essentially, I just got the wind knocked out of me and got a charlie horse on my arm," he said.

· Northwestern isn't getting big-headed about its 4-0 start. Said Proby: "We have a lot to prove to other Big Ten members."

· The AP and coaches poll can help keep the Wildcats level-minded, as each has them outside the Top 25. Mike Trumpy, speaking on behalf of his teammates, said: "It really doesn't bother us. We really don't pay attention or care about it. We just care about each other. We know how good we are and how good we can be. What other people think doesn't bother us."

· The Wildcats have embraced the competition, and have done so with confidence in the team's depth. "I think we're just a deeper team this year," said Trumpy. "There's so much more competition at practice. Competition brings out the best in us."

Northwestern returns to practice on Tuesday morning. Stay with PurpleWildcats.com for plenty of coverage as the Wildcats prepare for Indiana.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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