Notes: Wildcats get back to work

Northwestern returned to work on Tuesday as it prepared for Saturday's Big Ten opener with the Indiana Hoosiers. The competition at each position continued. What changes are in store for the Wildcats? offers notes, quotes, and observations from Evanston.

· Northwestern was back to work on Tuesday with Indiana in its sights. The Wildcats spent two hours split between the outdoor turf field and the grass field.

· Pat Fitzgerald and the coaching staff have enforced a mindset focusing on the team's 0-0 conference record, emphasizing it has not accomplished anything yet. Fitzgerald is pleased with how the team has embraced that mentality.

· The competition at cornerback continues in practice. Quinn Evans and Demetrius Dugar split reps today. I'd peg Evans as the likely starter on Saturday.

· Neil Deiters worked in with the first-team offensive line for much of practice. Matt Frazier and Chuck Porcelli also saw reps at right guard.

· During the beginning of practice, Northwestern's starting linebackers worked on defending screen passes, which was an issue during Saturday's game with South Dakota. The emphasis was to be reckless in approaching the ballcarrier. Redshirt freshman Andrew Smith impressed the most.

· Traveon Henry continues to impress more each day. The freshman is a tackling machine. He was inserted into the screen drill and decleated the running back. Henry's natural abilities are quite impressive.

· The play of the day came when Trevor Siemian connected with receiver Christian Jones down the sidelines. It was a perfect strike spanning more than 30 yards. Siemian has a rocket arm.

· In watching Siemian closely, I was very impressed with his footwork in the pocket. He is able to use his feet to buy time for throws. It's similar to Kain Colter, though he prefers to scramble when the pocket collapses. Either way, NU's quarterbacks are good on the move.

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.
Facebook | Twitter| E-Mail |

Purple Wildcats Top Stories