Sept. 19, 2010
Box Score |
NORTHWESTERN at RICE
Northwestern 30, Rice 13
Sept. 18, 2010
Rice Stadium Houston, Texas
Northwestern Post-Game Quotes
Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
On Northwestern defense:
"I thought we had a really good plan tonight and I thought we executed it well and in all three phases. Our defense really stepped up ... I thought they played well -- created turnovers left a short field."
I have to give Rice a lot of credit I thought they had some good adjustments in the second quarter. We came in at halftime and had a really good plan coming out to the second half offensively and really moved the ball well.
Weather and Conditioning:
We feel like our depth is really one of our strengths we also feel like we are in pretty good shape conditioning-wise. I thought the way that we performed tonight made a little bit of a statement. To come down here in this humidity -- we have not since this kind of weather since two-a-days. We tried to manufacture a little bit of it up in Evanston.
Our strength coaches got our team ready to play this year and we had the best summer that we've had and it showed up today.
Offense struggled in the second quarter:
I have to give a lot of credit to Rice. I thought they had a good plan and were playing well. We expected the things we saw and we just had to go in at half-time and settle down and make a couple of little tweaks to our game plan. I thought we did that and it paid dividends -- we moved the ball pretty well in the second-half.
Quentin Davie interception:
He's got three holiday pickoffs now -- he's been wide open and he was even open on a fourth that he dropped. The good news is he caught that one and took it to the house and that was a big play.
There are a lot of things we can clean up and correct, especially that turnover on the goal line that really would've put the game away. A lot of credit to Rice. David's doing a great job down here and it was a big challenge for us weather-wise and also with a very good football team and I thought we handled it well.
Rice Head Coach David Bailiff
On the team's performance tonight:
"We are a pretty good football team. But we're not good enough to overcome our mistakes. We have to continue offensively to work on ball security, eliminating the dumb penalties, and establishing the line of scrimmage. We are getting a really great effort defensively out of those kids. The first half they absolutely played their tails off. They gave up six points in that first half. We've got to finish what we start. We didn't have any missed tackles the first half and we had missed tackles the second half on the bubbles and different plays. We have to execute. We have to have guys that are playmakers-too many drops the first half, too many penalties. I believe we had four turnovers, and you can't win football games like that. We have to continue to work hard and improve. We're really close. We're either an inch too short or an inch too long with the ball. We've got to execute and be perfect in everything we do."
On first-half defensive performance:
"I was really proud of them. They gave up two field goals to a Big Ten football team. We have to play as a football team. We have got to have a great offense, a great defense, great special teams, and they all have to be consistent. Late in the game you saw those guys miss tackles on the bubble plays. We had been making those. We're close. We just have to finish what we start."
On offensive struggles:
"We just can't get a rhythm. When we hit a rhythm, all the sudden we drop a ball or get a penalty. Every time I've felt like we've achieved something, all the sudden we've thrown an interception, we got a holding penalty. I think we are extremely close to hitting the rhythm we need. We are just inches away on some of those big plays. I think that is an encouraging sign that we are that close."
On actions to be taken to improve:
"We as coaches still have to do a better job getting these kids in a position to win. That is our job. I think as we've learned what (RB) Sam (McGuffie) is capable of, and (RB) Turner (Petersen), and obviously (RB) Charles Ross. We've got to get Sam (McGuffie) in more space. We've got to do some things to create some more running lanes in there. Our offensive line is pretty good. They're going into their second year operating together. We've got to establish the line of scrimmage to open everything else up."
On QB Taylor Cook's entry into the game:
"(QB) Taylor (Cook) is a very talented young man. He worked hard going into this week. We had told (QB) Nick (Fanuzzi) that he was starting. We told him we were going to put Taylor in to get him some experience. It wasn't we were displeased with Nick (Fanuzzi), we just wanted to get him (QB Taylor Cook) some playing time."
On QB Nick Fanuzzi's return after QB Taylor Cook's interception:
"Nick (Fanuzzi) came off the bench last week to spark us to a win against North Texas. I have a lot of confidence in all of them (QB unit), but it was time to go back to Nick (Fanuzzi)."