Presser Notes: NIU

Quotes from the team's dispiriting loss to Northern Illinois.

Pat Fitzgerald

“I’m obviously very disappointed in the outcome of the game...I thought we lost our poise. There’s a lot to fix from the penalties standpoint and from the poise standpoint.”

“We let it get away from us in the second half, defensively...There’s a lot of work to do. It’s obviously not the position we want to be in two weeks in.”

“We’re so inconsistent...You try to coach a guy through that more so than technique.”

“If the situation isn’t dire right now, we have a problem.”

On C.J. Robbins’ ejection: “He’s a disciplined man, and it got away from him today. It’s just one of those days.”

On Kyle Prater: “The leadership council met this week. They felt they needed a leader in the wide receiver group, and they elected Kyle to the council. He’s stayed really steady through a lot of negativity that was obviously out of his control. The expectations were really difficult as a result. He’s been incredibly patient since Day 1, and I’m very proud of him.”

“You won’t see me knee jerk react...I thought we had a very solid week of preparation. We obviously have to coach the guys to perform better.”

Kyle Prater

“I’m very humbled. I’ve overcome a lot. But it’s not about me right now. It’s about the team, which came up short.”

On getting elected to the leadership council: “They see me as a guy that can do this for this team. And right now, we need it. Never in my three years here did I see myself on the leadership council.”

Matthew Harris

On a hands-to-the-face call that extended the fourth quarter NIU drive: “I thought I was using my technique there. The refs saw something else.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s something here. We’re hit with a little bit of adversity right now, but it’s not anything we can’t overcome. We’re a family. We trust each other.”

On the long touchdown allowed by him and Kyle Queiro: “It was a miscommunication. We had perfect coverage, perfect everything. Then we turned back on the ball and it was right there. We just couldn’t read it.”

Trevor Siemian

On the ankle injury he sustained in the fourth quarter: “It was scary, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was.”

“We haven’t seen our best team yet. There’s no doubt about it, and there’s no excuse for it. Coming back in the spring, I thought this was the most talented team I’ve been on. Just a lot of self-inflicted wounds right now.”

On Prater’s first touchdown - “It was a long time coming. He put the work in day in and day out, and it was a cool thing to see. He’s a leader in our room, a guy that a lot of guys look up to. He’s always really upbeat.”

Deonte Gibson

“We teach ‘Do Your Own Job.’ When one guy does too much, covering for another guy, you get beat. That’s been happening over and over again.”

“We were pressing too much those last two drives of the game. Personally, I failed the team.”

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