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    Postgame Quotes: No. 19/20 Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Sep 7, 2013

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    Northwestern vs. Syracuse
    Ryan Field
    September 7, 2013
    Postgame Quotes

    Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
    Opening Statement...
    "I want to start out and say thank you to our great fans. To have that kind of crowd, that kind of atmosphere in our home opener was really a special way to start the season for us here at Ryan Field. As we came down from the hotel and to see everyone out there tailgating as we arrived and the Walk With Us to start shows the pageantry of college football is alive and well in Evanston. We want to thank all of our great fans for their terrific support.

    "Great team win. For about three quarters of the game, I thought we played pretty well. I really didn't like our third quarter; there's a lot to build on there, a lot to coach on, and that's on us as a staff. We talked about it being 0-0 coming out of the locker room and obviously our guys didn't respond that way. We've got to really discuss that, if that's the attitude we're going to have and really pay attention to detail, or if we're going to let a team hang around with us. Credit to Syracuse, they're a very athletic team and Coach Shafer does a great job. I'm really glad this series is over, those have been hard-fought games on our end but we've found a way to get it done. I'm very proud of the young men on our staff."

    On including deep pass plays in the game plan...
    "We wanted to handle their pressure first off. From there we had to make sure that when we could take the nickels we did, and the big plays when they were there, and that we had the awareness level to take the shots."

    On Kain Colter's strong return from missing last game with a concussion...
    "Kain's one of the most dynamic playmakers not only in this conference but in the country. He has an unbelievable grasp of our offense. He was mad at himself that he reached the ball over on the touchdown. Those are the kind of details we have to continue to focus on."

    On Tony Jones' performance...
    "Well, it's back-to-back weeks that Tony has played at an elite level, an All-Big Ten level. We've got to continue to find creative ways to move him around and make people account for Tony. He's a big time player. He was a big time player in high school. He's battled through some injuries and his opportunity now is right here in front of him."

    On NU's balanced offensive attack and the team's position going forward...
    "Two weeks in and I'd like to think we're as balanced as anybody. We've got two very dynamic quarterbacks; I've kind of been pounding the drum for years here talking about 1A and 1B, about two championship-level quarterbacks. I think they're really playing well in the framework of what we're doing and are complementing each other well. I also think what has been going somewhat overlooked is the play of our young offensive line. That group is really starting to come together. There's a lot of room for improvement there but I really think they're starting to get an attitude about them and I think that's only going to solidify going forward."

    Northwestern Player Quotes
    QB Kain Colter

    On the effects of last week and the concussion...
    "I felt 100 percent normal on Sunday afternoon. Ever since then, I've felt good. But people were really worried about the concussion and they didn't want to push anything. We have our protocol and I had to follow that. Thank God for that, because guys try to rush it and they can make it worse. But it's been working out."

    On being a" run-first" team...
    "When you look at something we were trying to fix coming into this season, it was definitely getting the ball downfield and having some big plays and the passing game. We have some guys outside that can make those plays. You got Tony Jones, who had a great game. We have receivers all over the board who are willing to go out there and make plays and it's really their moment to step up. This year in particular, we just have weapons on the outside and that's something we wanted to capitalize and something we haven't done in past years. It's something we really worked on in the offseason."

    QB Trevor Siemian...
    On the quarterbacks going 30-of-37 combined...
    "The guys up front, those five guys played a heck of a game. They made it really easy on us. [Syracuse is] such a heavy blitz team, but we didn't have a whole lot of pressure in our face. Our guys on the outside can play and we know that. So we just get the ball to them and make us look good."

    On establishing a vertical passing game and the off season...
    "I think we just really have a lot of confidence in the guys on the outside and those guys can make plays. We're just giving them chances to go get the ball because they've shown they can capitalize on those opportunities, and especially the young guys up front are able to capitalize on those opportunities."

    On WR Tony Jones...
    "He's obviously matured. He's been around for a while. The guy could do it all from the moment he stepped through the door. He's maturing, he's getting cleaner with his routes, he's leading the younger guys. He's pretty easy to throw to."

    DL Dean Lowry...
    On the defensive line...
    "We think D-line is one of the strengths of our team, we have some good athletes up there. We like to get after people. Stopping the runs is a huge part of football games. We like to get a good level on them."

    WR Tony Jones
    On his big performance...
    "I'm just trying to continue to be a reliable receiver for this offense. You need to make plays and whatever it takes to make this team win."

    On what was done in the offseason...
    "I don't think we've done anything too different. We just got together and had extra sessions, as far as after workouts, throwing and catching, and running more routes. As far as the preparations, I don't feel it's really changed. This is what we do on a regular basis, as far as preparation and the expectations we have of ourselves. There's just been more execution."

    S Traveon Henry
    On the second half...
    "It's a learning experience. Sometimes things don't work out your way, but you learn how to deal with adversity. We're going to look at the film and see what we can correct. From there, we'll take it step by step and get ready for the next game."

    Syracuse Quotes
    Head Coach Scott Shafer

    Opening statement...
    "You just keep coaching as hard as you can and you get into a kid and you pick them up and you get into them and you pick them up. Then you try to find a sense of consistency with trying to bring that kid back, but there wasn't just a moment. There was an, `Oh no what are we going to do"' moment, `Let's fight our [tail] off together,' and then just keep fighting. Then you end your night, wake up and fight your [tail] off the next day. It is what it is. It's as simple as that. "

    On Chris Clark stepping up in Adrian Flemming's absence...
    "Chris did a good job. He made some plays and fell back into some catches; that was good to see. It's horrible for Adrian Flemming. I know what he's going through I was that guy in college with four knee surgeries in five seasons and Adrian is the same. I feel horrible for him. It's not a contact injury, it was an injury planted on his foot and it just broke so he's back home and we're trying to pick him up, but it's good to see Chris Clark step in and have a pretty good football game all things considered as an individual."

    On Beckett Wales' ankle sprain and Kendall Moore stepping up...
    "Yeah Beckett's got an ankle sprain. I don't know to what degree; it's kind of been on again off again so we've got to get him back. I was very pleased with Kendall Moore, true freshman from Chicago right down the road so I was pleased for him to get in, catch a couple passes up the zone, so he had fun coming off. There's always a few positives even in the worst loss you can imagine."

    Similarities between Penn State WR Allen Robinson and NU's Tony Jones against Syracuse...
    "Statistically they both hurt us pretty bad so poor job by me preparing our defense."'

    On coming back in the second half...
    `We tried to go faster, we did go faster. We did a good job slimming it down. The kids were excited and we just said `Screw it, there's seven or eight plays, let's just run these as fast as we can and see what we can do.' The kids responded, the coaches responded. The operation was much better than it had been earlier in the game as well as last week so there was some progress being made albeit not enough, but it was good fighting the good fight."

    Syracuse Player Quotes
    DT Jay Bromley

    Thoughts on the game...
    "It was just a tough night. We didn't do a lot of things great on defense or offense or special teams. We didn't make enough plays to give ourselves a chance to win the game."

    On the speed of Kain Colter...
    "He is as advertised. He is a mobile quarterback. The zone read is great for him. He is elusive, and he is a hard guy to tackle."

    On the difference between Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian...
    "Colter adds a different dimension. You have to make sure you stop the run. With 13 in the backfield, it's more like he is going to throw the ball. He lit us up pretty good today."

    On Coach telling them to win the second half...
    "You have to win in different phases of the game. Winning the second half, which as the numbers go, we did, but we didn't win the game as a whole, so we have to come out and play better."

    On going back to the Carrier Dome...
    "We're just thankful for another opportunity to play football. We came out and didn't play as well as we wanted to. As long as we're blessed with another opportunity to play football, we're happy for it. To play in the Dome in front of our fans, we look forward to it."