Monday Press Conference Notes

Some notes from Northwestern's Monday press conference. The Wildcats return to action on Saturday against Western Michigan.

Pat Fitzgerald began by crediting his "opportunistic" defense. The Wildcats are tied with Tennessee for the national lead in interceptions (7) and continue to rely on pressure from their talented defensive ends.

— He said Dean Lowry had the best game of his career on Saturday. The true sophomore fits the "future star" mold, and Northwestern appears to have four D-ends capable of assuming starting roles. Nothing to complain about.

— Fitzgerald criticized the team's overall tackling. It fell on the back seven, who failed in that department. He said Dwight White played fairly well: "Nobody looks at the base hits. Everyone looks at the home runs. It's the life of a corner."

— Asked about Tony Jones, Fitzgerald talked about the importance of overcoming injuries. The team's current top receiver–who had 185 receiving yards on Saturday–suffered a knee injury right before the 2011 season. Collin Ellis (last week's star player) fits a similar mold, having fought adversity throughout his career.

— Fitzgerald and his team refuse to look past Western Michigan, of course: "There's no one walking around here feeling that we've arrived." He knows WMU head man P.J. Fleck, and focused more on the potential they showed against Michigan State.

— The third quarter against Syracuse felt like the recurring theme. NU's defense looked sloppy, and though the lead obviously held, the Wildcats can focus this week on playing their complete four quarters.

— Dwight White said he's built up some confidence this past week: "I feel like practice has prepared me for a lot of situations… I'm just going out there and trying to play fast."

— Watching film, NU players said Western Michigan flashed some potential: "They're going to be hungry," Ian Park said. Though the Broncos lost 27-23 to Nicholls State, NU plans to see their best effort come Saturday.

The Wildcats return to practice on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. We'll be your source for all game-week coverage.


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