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    Northwestern vs. Indiana Postgame Quotes

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Sept. 29, 2012

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    Northwestern vs. Indiana
    Ryan Field
    Sept. 29, 2012
    Postgame quotes

    Northwestern Head Coach
    Pat Fitzgerald

    Opening statement...
    "First and foremost, it's been a very difficult week not only for our football program but around the campus. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the young Evanstonian [Dajae Coleman], to our student [Harsha Maddula] and to Leon Brockmeier's family. We dedicated the game on Monday to Leon's family. They have been in our thoughts and prayers and he has obviously been taken from us too soon. I know a lot of his teammates got together with his wife in Florida today to watch the game. Hopefully we made them proud. We have two little guys [Brockmeier's sons] and a beautiful woman that we're going to have to support going forward. It's been a very difficult week for our university and our Wildcat family.

    "I think with that kind of passion and focus, our guys came out of the gate and played really well to start the football game. I thought we controlled things early but we talked at halftime about the game being back 0-0. We needed to go out and control the second half and obviously we failed at that miserably. I have to give a lot of credit to Coach [Kevin] Wilson and the Hoosiers. They did a terrific job in the second half by making big plays in the passing game. As I looked from the boundary at communication, we had guys in position but we have to win on those plays. If we win on those plays, it's a completely different outcome. Obviously it has to be a teachable, coachable, learnable opportunity for us and we have to compete our tails off this week to improve there. We had been pretty solid for the last three weeks and I thought we were pretty solid all game but in those 50/50 ball opportunities we have got to win. We have some personnel issues on the kickoff team that will be addressed and fixed by me starting tonight when I get home. We're going to try and get our defensive guys some rest on that team and obviously we have some holes in the dam. We allowed way too much water to sift through. Again, credit to the Hoosiers. They blocked us, they ran through us and they ran around us on our kick off team. We have to fix that starting right now.

    "Offensively, similar to when we were starting the year, the only thing slowing us down today was us. That's no disrespect to IU, I just thought we had a good plan, the guys were executing pretty well but we had one-man breakdowns and we didn't pick things up that we expected to see. When you lose a turnover battle, you end up giving up explosion pass plays and kickoff return yards like we did, we dodged a bullet today. We have a lot of work to do and we'll be in a very hostile environment a week from now for our first Big Ten road test. If we don't get better, we're going to get blown out. We have a lot of work to do between now and then. Lastly, I want to say thank you to our students. Again, there was unbelievable support. It has now been four games in a row that we've had incredible fan support."

    On Kain Colter's dynamic involvement throughout the game...
    "Kain is Kain. He is unbelievable. He is the most dynamic young man, I think, in this conference...I'm very proud of the way he's playing but none of us are surprised. We all knew that from high school. It shows, obviously, the way he can pick up our system and we are just getting started with the things we are going to do there."

    On when the coaching staff decides who to use as quarterback...
    "If I said it was me, I'd be lying. It's really our offensive staff. I'm quality-controlling but I trust Mick [McCall] wholeheartedly. We make those decisions pregame but we then see how the game is flowing. Obviously, with Kain's involvement in the offense today, we knew he was going to get a little bit worn down. We knew there were times that we wanted to give him some rest and when we would see some things schematically, we would take advantage of Trevor [Siemian]. I'm really pleased with Trevor getting his first start, so to speak, as quarterback going 22-for-32. The good news is we won the football game, we threw two interceptions and it didn't hurt us. We don't have to worry about that pressure of not throwing a pick, we were able to overcome it."

    Northwestern Player Quotes

    QB/WR Kain Colter
    On whether playing different positions is difficult to balance...
    "I don't think so. I did it a lot last year. It's something we had been preparing for and we were excited to bring it out for this game. We just went out there and executed. I think the offense all around -- the offensive line, Trevor [Siemian] and the receivers really did a good job today. We just went out there and executed the game plan. The coaches provided us with a great game plan. We went out there, executed and made a lot of plays."

    On the risk of injuries...
    "I mean you are going to be sore no matter what. It's just part of football. Especially now that I'm playing some receiver, it's just something that comes with it. It's just my mentality when I get the ball, I'm looking at where's there's a crease in the defense instead of thinking 'I should probably slide.' It's just not my first instinct. I definitely need to try and take care of my body. It's a long season and we have a lot of games to play. At the same time, though, I'm not going to be out there scared to make a play."

    On differences between red-zone conversions today and prior games...
    "Every game is going to be a little different. For Boston College, we just didn't execute and didn't convert when we needed to. These last few weeks that we have started to do better in the red zone, I think we have just started to execute the game plan. Everything is a little different. The defenses are going to change when you are in the red zone. So nothing is the same -- it's hard to compare. I think we just executed better these last two weeks and have taken advantage of our opportunities."

    On future opponents...
    "I think no matter who you play in the Big Ten, it's going to be a tough game. Whether you're playing Indiana, Nebraska, or Ohio State -- all these teams are tough. Every week we have to go out there and play like we're playing the No. 1 team in the nation. That's how we have to play. I think we are starting to get some momentum and we have to try and keep that momentum. But, our whole goal this season has been to be 1-0 [each week]. So we're not going to look ahead to Nebraska or any other teams that we might face. We have Penn State coming up and that's what we're going to focus on. They're going to be a tough challenge. We're going to have tough challenges coming up for the rest of the season. It's more about what we do and less about who we're playing. If we play how we play to the best of our ability, I like our chances."

    QB Trevor Siemian
    On using Kain Colter as a primary third-down target...
    "He did a good job of shaking loose, and beating his guy. I don't think they had an answer for Kain all day; at receiver, at quarterback, wherever it was. If he's getting loose, I'm going to get him the ball."

    LB Damien Proby
    On defense's performance today...
    "Coming into Big Ten play, we just have to get used to the offenses and defenses. In the second half, they caught us in passing coverages as we were transitioning. It opened up gaps, and that's something we just can't have happening. It's little fundamental things that will get corrected in the future. They ran a lot of fast-ball [tempo]. They have an up-tempo offense. They just caught us in some things where we weren't where we should have been in certain situations. That's something we'll correct and be able to see on film. It'll be something to learn from going forward."

    Indiana Postgame Quotes
    Head Coach Kevin Wilson

    Opening Statement...
    "We had a couple chances here in the first half, end of the game to get some points. We don't. You look at the stats, they worked us for 700 (yards). In the first half, we don't do much-maybe five first downs, so pretty poor first half, offensively. In the second half, we felt that maybe we contained the run game. We only held the ball for 23 minutes, so we got lucky to almost have a chance. Kids battled and played hard. We needed to get some stops defensively, but only created three turnovers. The return game was pretty good. We had a big kick return, which is an impact play. We didn't give their return guy a chance, but you work for 700 yards, pushing 400 rushing, is not too good."

    On reading Northwestern's running game...
    "The bulk of it was kind of a new wrinkle-a pistol set. We worked a lot on their split-back set, option veer. One time Kain (Colter) pulled one down and had a 10 or 15-yard touchdown run on one of the plays. They didn't work us as much with that. They had a zone back play where they're going the other way. They stuck those in for a bunch of six and eight and 10-yard plays. They popped us with some pistol-fast running out in space and I think sometimes actually we were close but then got blocked on the perimeter. I think there's some times in our run game where our receivers out on the perimeter didn't block as well as theirs. It was a little different, but we still have to make some adjustments."

    On making adjustments at halftime...<br> "We talked quickly about certain plays and getting into a rhythm. I thought we could take some shots downfield on them. I think our receivers can go make some plays. We still had a little bit of run mix. We didn't go away from that. In the first half, we had a couple of guys with 15 or 20 yards. We just got into a rhythm that wasn't there in the first half. I think there is a little bit of just being on or off that makes you look really good or just booming. When we are doing our tempo and we go three-and-out, it puts a lot of pressure on our defense."

    On losing momentum early in the game...
    "It's not just the miss (field goal). Anytime you're inside the five, it's almost deflating just having to kick. There are certain things you want to do inside the 10. Especially when you're on the road, if you kick field goals a lot, you're going to lose. It would have been nice, but it was almost demoralizing to be held to three. We worked a three-and-out and then drove down the field. We have all the momentum and it's like, 'Let's go,' and then boom, boom, boom."

    On changing quarterbacks...
    "There should be competition all the time and that was my comment to both of them the other day. I told them we're going with Cam (Coffman) because he's been here longer. But I think they're both starters. I don't believe in pulling a guy. But like I say if we need a shot in the arm, we just needed a changeup. I didn't think Cam was horrible, but at the same time, just based on the rhythm of the offense it just wasn't working, so I just wanted to try the other guy."

    Indiana Player Quotes
    QB Nate Sudfeld

    On his likelihood of playing this week...
    "During the week of practice they just let me know to be ready at all times, that I'm always one snap away. They told me to prepare like I'm the starter but that Cam (Coffman's) going to go out first."

    On the play of his receivers...
    "We took some shots down the field and they made some incredible plays. It was awesome to see just how great of plays they could make. They made me look a lot better than I felt I was playing."

    On throwing the ball deep...
    "I'm very comfortable. Our receivers make incredible plays in practice and they all have great speed and great hands. All I have to do is throw it up for them."

    On his team's resiliency...
    "We've got a lot of confidence. The defense came out and made some big plays for us in the second half. It was evident that the receivers were out there running hard routes. We never felt like it was over."

    RB Stephen Houston
    On his team's comeback...
    "We weren't playing Hoosier ball out there. But then we stopped panicking and let the game come to us."

    On Indiana's two quarterbacks...
    "I was proud of both Cam and Nate. They bring the same style but different mentalities. But no matter who's in the game we're still going to play the same."

    RB Tevin Coleman
    On scoring the kickoff return touchdown in a return to his home state...
    "It was great to do that in front of my teammates and in front of my family. I was happy they were able to be there and support me."