Presser Notes: Week Seven

Some notes from Pat Fitzgerald's Monday press conference.

— Pat Fitzgerald's: "players of the week" in his Monday press conference. Defensive tackle Chance Carter earned recognition for his improved performance against a tough Wisconsin rushing attack. Damien Proby and Rashad Lawrence picked up "big playmaker nods," with Fitzgerald opting to skip naming any offensive player of the week. (Also to note: the Tommy Fuessel hype continues, as the freshman wideout garnered more praise from the head coach.)

— Fitzgerald listed Kain Colter and Venric Mark as "day-to-day" after both suffered ankle injuries in Saturday's loss. Mark was listed as co-starter at running back; the Wildcats need to prepare their backups to avoid another collapse on the ground. We'll monitor their health as the week progresses. (Sean McEvilly was not on the two-deep, with PW sources still indicating he'll return to the field this week.)

— The coaching staff threw 300 water balloons at the players during today's meeting: "The glue is having fun," Fitzgerald said. The team put forth a dismal performance against the Badgers, but obviously need to recover before a home test against Minnesota. The Wildcats can regain some necessary confidence, and Fitzgerald is hardly worried, calling the "hallmark" of his team its "strength of response."

— Fitz noted that his defense gave the team a chance to win for about "30-45 minutes," making enough plays for NU to stay competitive. They forced three turnovers–an impressive staple of Mike Hankwitz's 2013 defense–but left two on the field. The most notable one appeared to be Nick VanHoose's dropped interception. "The momentum plays, you have to make," Fitzgerald said.

— He didn't like the team's attitude at certain points of Saturday's game—which seems fair to the objective eye. The Wildcats somehow failed to stage any rally when they fell behind, wilting under pressure in a 29-point loss that could have been even worse. He also outed the receiving corps after the group inexcusably dropped several passes.

The Wildcats return to action this Saturday against Minnesota. Stay tuned to PurpleWildcats.com for your Northwestern football coverage.


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