'Cats leaders accountable after defeat

In an impressive post game display, some of Northwestern's leaders remained accountable, dignified after the 35-6 loss.

"The good thing about program… We don't recruit quitters. We don't have any quitters across our program. We're excited to get back on our home field." — Damien Proby

They recruit class acts, too, as evidenced by Saturday's postgame press conference in which Proby, Trevor Siemian and Ibraheim Campbell took questions from the media.

There were no bold statements, hollow promises or emotional quotations. All three players reflected NU's "team-first" mentality after the 29-point loss. They individually accepted some form of blame for whatever happened in Madison.

There were specific mishaps on Saturday, like when Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis split the safeties for an early touchdown. Instead of deferring blame to sophomore Traveon Henry, the veteran Campbell accepted responsibility—as the veteran should.

"That was just a matter of bad eyes on my part," Campbell said. "I was worried about things that I shouldn't be worried about."

Vague or not, they offered up the necessary. They gave no excuses when they easily could've. Take Trevor Siemian, the victim of some inexcusable dropped passes from his receivers. Siemian finished a rough 13-for-34 with 163 yards and five more sacks: "I've got to give them better balls to catch," he said.

Then, asked about Wisconsin's success running the ball up the middle, Proby refused to deflect blame. It was characteristic of the linebacker. Out of drills for part of this past spring, he'd instruct younger, developing players. Many expected that regardless of NU's play, the Badgers would find success on the ground—and they did.

But he never outed Chance Carter or Will Hampton, who put forth decent efforts in relief of top tackle Sean McEvilly. Rather, he sat up straight and told it like it was.

"I'm the middle linebacker," he said. "If they're running the ball up the middle, they're probably running at me."

Three Northwestern players took the podium after a 29-point loss and said everything they needed to. Take the blame, move on, stay accountable. Impressive, to say the least.

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