NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

Official Store

    Postgame Quotes - Boston College

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Sept. 15, 2012

    Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

    Northwestern vs. Boston College
    Ryan Field
    September 14, 2012
    Postgame Quotes

    Northwestern Head Coach
    Pat Fitzgerald

    Opening statement...
    "I want to start out by thanking our fans, especially our students for their tremendous support. We're having a lot of fun from pre-game all the way through the end of the game singing the fight song, and we're not even in school yet.

    "As far as the game, I think our defense is working diligently to improve. Obviously, the way we performed against the rush today against a physical football team was a huge positive. We can still find a couple things we need to work on, like being a little more disciplined in underneath coverage pass-wise. But for the most part we responded very well to everything we thought we'd see, outside out of the one drive in the first half where we didn't respond very well.

    "Offensively, it was unbelievable as far as ball movement, keeping possession of the ball, great drives, converting on third down, but at the end of the day we've got to turn those three's into seven's and we've got to finish drives. A lot of those issues that we had were self-inflicted: either by drops or by penalties. Or not hitting guys who are open. We're still a work in progress on both sides of the ball. Then in the kicking game we had a lot of new players but they did what we asked them to. Our punt return team got us going with some good field position. We had a chance to down two punts inside the 5-yard line, and we executed on the one that mattered, the second one.

    "I'm really happy and proud for Mike Trumpy. It's been a long road back for Michael. He's a tremendous young man from a great family. A Chicago kid, having a great time playing for Chicago's Big Ten Team. I'm really proud of him stepping up, Venric got a little banged up in the game so then it was Mike's turn to pick up the flag and go. It's going to be a critical week for us to go out and improve, we're not where we want to be as far as putting three phases together in a clean fashion. But a lot of credit to Boston College, those young men are tough and they're physical."

    On what he has learned about the team beating three BCS-conference teams...
    "I think we're in pretty good shape. We've played a lot of plays. We're playing a lot of guys and I think we have a lot of depth at this point. I think we've got a hungry team, they've got a look in their eyes right now and they're embracing improvement. We're in no way, shape or form where we want to be yet but mission accomplished, we've gone 1-0 three times so far, so hopefully we'll continue to keep getting better."

    On Jeff Budzien's five made field goals...
    "I don't think there's anything different with Jeff, I think he's just had more opportunities. I think he's excited that he's gotten more reps, but he'd still prefer to see our offense scoring more touchdowns. Kicking is an 11-man job now, it has to be a great snap from Patrick (Hickey), a tremendous hold from Brandon (Williams), and then Jeff has to do what he does best and that's trust his technique and the fundamentals. He's been very, very consistent with his physical and mental approach towards treating every (practice) kick like it's a game kick.

    On plans for new facilities announced today...
    "This is transformational for our entire university. This is an opportunity for our community to come together. First and foremost it's an opportunity for our students and student-athletes to completely be unified and just have an unbelievable community feel on the best campus in the country. This will take our recreation and our facilities for all our students to a place that they've never been here before.

    "For our football program, this is a game-changer. This completely changes the landscape of Big Ten football and college football. No one else will have the ability to talk of a state-of-the-art facility in the location that we have. And the No. 1 selling aspect outside of getting the best education in BCS football and the opportunity to play Big Ten football has been our campus. And now to have a 24-7 state-of-the-art facility that no one else can match in college football I think raises the expectations for ourselves individually and as a program, for our entire athletic department and obviously for all of our fans."

    Northwestern Player Quotes
    OL Brandon Vitable
    On Northwestern's fumble and Vitabile's recovery...
    "It was just a right place, right time kind of thing. I was trying to get my block down, it just popped up and I grabbed it. It's every lineman's dream. I mean, if you see the ball, you have to get it. I was lucky enough to play on the hand's team in high school so I'm going to thank my high school coach for that. It was awesome. We just got the first down before and that's what is important when you're trying to keep the drive going. That's what really matters."

    On what he has learned about the team in three weeks...
    "What I have learned is that there is so much more potential. We really go hard (in practice). We see what we can do so we have to carry it over into the games and execute to the best of our abilities. I don't think we've done that yet. We're just excited for when that gets done and when we all click."

    On the offensive line's role in the running game...
    "We just know that whoever is back there is going to run as hard as they can and try and gain as much yards as possible. (Mike) Trumpy is a little bit more of a power guy, and Venric (Mark) is a little bit more elusive. But we know that if we give them some time and a little crack then they will make it happen. I think we [the offensive line] are not playing as good as we should be and I think there is room for improvement."

    On breakdowns in the red zone...
    "It was frustrating for us because we're thinking that we are moving the ball well and then we get down into the red zone and hit a brick wall. For us [offensive line], it was very upsetting. We kept saying 'We have to finish,' because that is what we have built our program on and what our program emphasizes, but we weren't able to do that until later. We just have to take a look at it, get better and move on."

    On if he has seen improvement in the offensive line since the Syracuse game...
    "I think the guys have become more comfortable. I know last year when I got my first start, I had butterflies in my stomach-I was nervous. I think we have to become comfortable with playing on the field in front of people instead of just practicing in front of the guys who you get used to. We're a family here so you're in practices with the same guys. But in front of fans and the refs, it's a different experience. Guys have adjusted and some of them have really stepped up. We're hoping to move forward and keep working hard."

    On reaction to coaches' decision to focus on a running game in the second half...
    "It's awesome. It means they have enough confidence in you to put the game on your back. They wanted us to take over and execute our blocks and do our fundamentals and what we've been taught. To get the coaches' confidence like that is pretty awesome especially in a game that was as close as it was."

    PK Jeff Budzien
    On his performance during today's game...
    "It was great to get field goal reps. I work on that quite a bit during practice, so it's nice to put that into a game aspect and help the team out like that. But at a time like that when we need touchdowns, it's great to see the team put seven points up. It was a great job by Mike Trumpy and the offense closing the deal. It's great to get reps and help the team out with field goals but when we needed a touchdown that was a big play."

    On what he has learned about the team in three weeks...
    "I think we never quit. Being a specialist, I get to reflect and watch a lot of the things that are happening. This team has a different attitude than last year. The leadership is the best I've ever been around. This team never says die. It's exciting and scary because we're not playing well by our standards. So, it's scary to think about where we could go if we could put three phases together for four quarters."

    On tying the record for most field goals in a game...
    "It's great to tie a record like that in a win. It wouldn't feel that great if we lost that game. What I'm most fortunate for is that we have a snapper Pat Hickey, holder Brandon Williams and eight guys blocking upfront that do a great job and take pride in what they are doing. It's an 11-man operation and I'm just one of the eleven. They deserve more credit than me because they take pride in their roles. They might not be the glory roles, but they're doing a great job. They deserve a lot of credit."

    QB Kain Colter
    On his frustration on lack of ability to convert in the red-zone...
    "It's always frustrating to go from Syracuse where we were 100 percent in the red zone to today where we had five field goals. It's just something we have to fix. It just comes down to practice, preparing a little better and executing. I feel like we had a great game plan, but we just didn't execute it like we should have."

    On observations from today's game...
    "We definitely did some good things-season high in rushing and passing, we moved the ball extremely well, we didn't punt very much. Those are all positive, but at the end of the day we have to get six points instead of three. A lot of that comes down to me, a lot of that comes down to a bunch of guys. We have to go out there and execute. At the end of the day, we're 3-0 and we haven't even nearly played our best football. That's the encouraging thing. We can go out there and play a lot better, I can play a lot better, and that's something to look forward to."

    On if he feels competition between the quarterbacks...
    "You're always in competition. Nothing in this program is set. If a guy is doing a lot better than you, then he'll play. The coaches are competitive-they want to win and put the best 11 players on the field. So you're always in competition."

    On missed touchdown passes...
    "The one to Christian [Jones] is kind of eating me up. Honestly, I'm not the tallest guy. I couldn't really see and I threw the ball like a little girl. It's just something we'll get better at. I mean, we won the game and it's something I can fix. You wish you could get some plays back, but at the end of the day we got the W so we have to move on and flush it."

    Linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo
    On if Northwestern fans can get used to the defense "winning" games for them...
    "It's a team game so whichever (unit) is doing better in the game, the other one is going to try and pick them up. I think they can just get used to us winning."

    On defense's performance...
    "We had a couple miscues here and there, but people were just trying to make plays out there. We talk about trusting each other. We will work on the miscues in practice and just try to be better next week."

    Boston College Quotes
    Head Coach Frank Spaziani
    On BC's performance in the red zone...
    "They [Northwestern] have a good offense. We kept them out of the end zone for a while; we (allowed) five field goals, one score and we had a chance but it wasn't good enough. They kept the ball for too much time."

    On QB Chase Rettig...
    "He's a good quarterback. But we have to run the ball better, we can't win like that."

    On a play that had them punting in end zone...
    "Woulda, coulda, shoulda. We didn't make enough plays."

    Boston College Player Quotes
    Quarterback Chase Rettig
    On not getting the ball into the end zone...
    "You know, it's kind of like what I said all week. The game is going to come down to scoring touchdowns, not field goals.

    On moving past this game...
    "We just have to prepare for the next game. You can't really take a whole bunch of time with what happened in the past. We just have to look forward and prepare for Clemson, I believe."

    On moving the ball outside of the red zone...
    "We were just throwing the ball into their zone coverage. We had a couple good runs. We just need to be more consistent."

    On getting the running game going...
    "They pressured sometimes when we ran the ball today, so they had some good calls against our run game. We just continue to try and pass the ball well so that can always be a threat and open up some holes for the running game. Also, we have to get the running game established earlier in the game."

    Outside Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis
    On pace of the game...
    "We're tired, some of us. Not the whole defense - we knew they ran the hurry up offense. They did a great job, and at times, we did a good job. Just coming into the 4th quarter, we got out-executed on the last play when they scored the touchdown. We play a sound defense. Once one guy is wrong, it's either a first down or a touchdown, and that's what happened on the last play."

    On facing RB Mike Trumpy...
    "We weren't too focused on 32 going into the game. We were more focused on 5. So, when he came into the game, we were more ready for the run. He is a tough runner and he proved that. He is a downhill runner that pretty much isn't going to shake you. He is just going to run downhill and get as many yards as he possibly can."

    On stopping Northwestern in the red zone...
    "We always do well with our backs against the wall. We just need to stop them from getting to the red zone. We know that we can stop teams in the red zone. The next step for our defense is getting them out of the red zone-not letting them get in there in the first place."