Fitzgerald Post Game Quotes

It was a big day for the Wildcats as they beat 17th ranked Wisconsin 20-14. Here are some of the highlights from a happy, but determined Coach Fitzgerald in the post game press conference:

  • On today’s outcome: “We beat a very good football team today, they’re physical, they have an identity, and we found a way to get the job done. Credit goes to our young men.”
  • On the game plan: “Great job by our staff creating a good plan. I thought we had some things that we were able to take advantage of just because of our offense and our defense.”
  • On Melvin Gordon’s 3 longest runs that went for over 150 yards: “3 long runs that we fit wrong and didn’t tackle, those are things we have to work on.”
  • On the special team’s performance “It was really important and we knew it was going to be with the weather. It was nasty early. It was wet, it was windy. Both teams deserve a lot of credit there from a standpoint of I think everyone executed their snaps, their holds, you didn’t see any kicks out of bounds.”
  • On what the team identity is: “Our identity is we are a work in progress.”
  • On the keys to success: “The reason why we’ve been successful now for a couple weeks is because the guys are really investing greatly during the week. They are putting in the time individually and collectively to study their opponent. They are working diligently on the field to come together offensively, defensively, and the kicking game.”
  • On team attitude: “We are definitely playing with a lot more passion, a lot more physicality than we did earlier in the year.”
  • On Godwin Igwebuike: “He played running back in high school. A really talented, talented young man. I’m sure you guys are going to tell me we should start him now when Campbell comes back. Those are good problems. We have good young players that are getting better.”
  • On the defensive game plan: “I thought our plan this year against their offense was much better defensively than we had a year ago. We were very critical of ourselves defensively a year ago.”
  • On why they went for it on 4th down: “The wind. I’ve got great confidence in Jack (Mitchell). That wasn’t it.”
  • On the defensive backs: “Credit goes to the guys. I think they are working hard in practice. They are starting to take the “McManis” attitude. Sherrick had an attitude in practice that nobody would catch the ball on him in practice at any time. I think that whole group is starting to take on that mentality.”
  • On the running game: “Great job by Justin, Trey averaged 7 yards a carry, Miles with the reverse, and Warren had 1.7 but he had a big 4th down conversion. I thought Warren really played well in the kicking game.”
  • On the play action out of I formation: “Mick wanted to call it the series before. I felt we could get Gary’s last timeout. I felt if we blocked at the point of attack the way we were all day we get the first down, now we’re one first down away from winning the game. So we lose momentum. (Next drive) So Mick says let’s go get it. It was a great call by Mick.”
  • On Justin Jackson: “His number was called. He’s got a very good feel for what we’re trying to do.”
  • On the improvement by the OLine: “I don’t think it’s anything magical at all. I think the guys are really working hard in practice. A guy that’s probably improving the most is Matt Frazier. Matt is really starting to be the Matt that I saw in high school.”
  • On the next steps: “We have enough holes in the dam, we have enough warts and zits where we have to get a lot better.”
  • On Wisconsin’s offense: “We held them to 14 points, that’s why stats are for losers. The only stat that matters is score. As long as the ‘Cats are plus one, the ‘Cats win.”
  • On coaching going forward: “I think sometimes in winning there’s a tendency to overlook somethings. This is a time I think you can really kick into overdrive to make things better and improve. That’s where we’ve been at.”
  • On the importance of Big Ten games: “Each Big Ten game is a 1 game season in itself.”
  • On enjoying the win: “Take that 1-0 mentality, We’ll enjoy tonight, I hope the guys have good clean American fun and enjoy campus. If I were a student I’d have a great time. Enjoy it and we’re back to 0-0 when we get back Monday morning.”
  • On Trevor Siemian’s health and his supposed limp: “He finished the game and he got his lips knocked off. I didn’t talk to him and the trainers didn’t tell me anything. Maybe just his little pimp walk, a little swagger walk.”

It’s clear that there is work going forward, but this was a huge step for the Wildcats. They look like a completely different team from the first couple weeks of the season and now this team is viewed as a legitimate Big Ten contender. Next up, Minnesota.







  • Great win today. The team deserves kudos.

    I think Penn State and Wisconsin overlooked Northwestern, at least to some extent. Next week at Minnesota, the Gophers will be up for Northwestern. They are not going to overlook NU at all.

    If there is any let down after two great weeks the Gophers could beat the Wildcats. Northwestern must continue the intensity and focus if they want to go 1-0 next week.

    Go Cats!

  • Narcissus Smith

    Still a bad coach, still winning in spite of him.

    Waste a time out to kick it into the endzone, instead of taking the delay of game, saving the time out, and maybe getting the space the punter needs to pin them inside the 10? Just dumb. Fitz sucks.

    And this schtick of “X player played great, so you (press and fans) probably want him to play all the time” is getting so effing old. Yes, play your best players. Pretty basic Fitz. I’m sure Jacob Schmidt was a really good kid, but as a coach your job is to field the best team you can, not play favorites.

    Justin Jackson should play every down that he isn’t tired or injured. Anthony Walker seems clearly better than Colin Ellis. Yet these facts elude our coach. Even in victory, Fitz is insufferable.

    • NUinNY

      Man, I hope I misunderstood that quote about Igwebuike. One more week like that, and it gets pretty tough to figure out why you wouldn’t find a way to work him in somehow…

      • agreed, but no way you bench Ibrahim Campbell. If anything, put him in for Traveon Henry on pass downs or something like that.

        • NUinNY

          Agree 100% re Campbell, and maybe you’re right re passing downs as the best solution, but what about moving Henry to OLB? Love the idea of having Igwebuike starting if he keeps up this level of play. I don’t know enough about defensive schemes to know the best way to do this, but seems to me NU’s chances of winning increase with Igwebuike as part of the starting 11.

          • they already have 5 LBs they’re trying to fit into 3 spots. Don’t think moving another guy there is the answer.

    • catgrad96

      Dumbest post of the year. Ellis had 2 PBUs and played well. Clearly you were not at the game. Kick into end zone was Fitz’s fault? It was inches.

    • NorCalCats

      Did you watch the same last 2 games I watched? R U kidding me? Bad coaching? It’s because of coaching we won these last 2 weeks. Sure we went ultra conservative at the end but then again we now have a bona fide running game to potentially seal the deal. But the 1st 55 minutes was simply brilliant. We forget that our players are teenagers or barely twenty thus they are highly influenced by coaching (for better or for worse). Now we are experiencing “for better.” N. Smith get off LTP and off the naysayer bandwagon. BTW: make sure you stay home when the Cats make a bowl this year!!!! Just ridiculous!!!!

      • yep, the coaching has finally turned around and gotten much better these last 2 weeks. Love it.

        • NUinNY

          Amen. I spend the first four weeks of the season wondering how it was possible to coach a team so poorly, and I was a loud, loud critic. I have no problem saying that Fitz and Hank have really turned this around in a big way (McCall… meh).

    • skepticat

      Like to hear your own lips flap much, Narcissus?

  • Had a wedding to go to today. Dumb in laws. Was able to listen to the first 1.5 quarters on the radio and went to a BWW between the wedding and reception to catch the 4th quarter. Felt like Dr. Jim Phillips in my white shirt and purple tie.

    Absolutely loved the 3rd down play-action to Vitale out of the power formation that got them their final 1st down. I’ve been waiting for that play for 5 weeks.

    Also love that the best players continue to be young guys. Justin Jackson is a freaking stud. Godwin was another hyped recruit who had a fabulous debut.

    • jeffkosnett

      This is why there is TiVo, which I resorted to again and watched the game from the start at about 8 p.m. And, again, worth every moment. Great win.

      • alas, I do not have Tivo or a DVR. Hopefully BTN will show a re-play of the game at some point this week.

        • Chris

          WatchESPN has the replay available.

  • NUMBalumDave

    Great win against a quality opponent. Next job: Minnesota. Beat those Golden Gophers, and GO, CATS!

  • DenverWildcat

    Starting to reap the benefits of the 10 win season two years ago in the form of top-line freshman/redshirt freshman talent. The improved depth is obvious this year. While I understand the benefits of experience, I am glad to see Fitz utilizing players in all four classes. Feels good to be making noise in the conference again.

    • Ron

      If only he might do that at QB…

  • nucastsdean

    N. Smith has never played the game, never coached the game and never officiated the game. Give it up. You know nothing! The best coach in NU’s history (sans Ara) is a class act who does it the right way. I hope we never lose him. As for N. Smith…get a life, preferable outside of Evanston. The again, perhaps you are Kain Colter????