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    Northwestern vs. Penn State - Quotes

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Oct. 23, 2011

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    Northwestern vs. Penn State
    Ryan Field
    Oct. 22, 2011
    Postgame Quotes

    Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald Quotes

    Opening Statement... "Well, again I would like to thank our great fans for coming out here tonight. We had great support tonight--especially with our great students. On Homecoming, it's great to see a ton of alumni back here for the last couple of days. It was great to see [Homecoming Grand Marshal and Saturday Night Live writer] Seth [Meyers]. We haven't seen each other since we were in school and to have Mike Kafka back was outstanding. I appreciate that and I look forward to coming back here in a couple of weeks. Our performance tonight was a tale of `what ifs.' We had plenty of opportunities, especially in the second half, to do the things that winners do, but unfortunately, we were not able to accomplish that. The credit goes to Penn State. They obviously did the fundamentals better than we did and they made some big plays. That interception that turned into a touchdown was the difference in the one-score game. We had plenty of good drives and plenty of good stops, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough to find a way to win. That is what we are going to work our tails off for. Every game we have been in here for the last month and we've had plenty of opportunities to win the football game, but we just haven't done that. That is on us and it is our responsibility and we are going to get it fixed."

    On allowing only 88 yards in second half and defensive improvement ...
    "We were fundamentally better. We got off blocks and took better angles. I told Ted (Albrecht) from WGN in my postgame [interview] that in the first half, the defense was pressing hard. We were overrunning balls and taking bad angles. As coaches, we have to get them to settle down a little bit better then we did. Once they settled down, the guys got into the locker room, looked each other in the eye and said, `We are going to do something about it,' and I thought they responded pretty boldly. That is the defense we need to see for the rest of the year. They are capable of doing that against everyone that we play. Hopefully, that will give them some confidence as we move forward."

    On Coach Joe Paterno tying Eddie Robinson's Division I record of 408 career wins ...
    "There is a reason why Coach Paterno is tied with Eddie Robinson; he is the best ever. It was an opportunity for us tonight that we let slip away. First and foremost, I would like to give great credit to Coach Joe Paterno. It is an unbelievable milestone that he was able to accomplish. I'm just kind of tired that it keeps happening against us. I just want to congratulate him from our entire program. It takes a great role model of trust, a great role model of consistency and an understanding from the university in football coaches' intentions to develop young men. There is no better role model for that than Joe [Paterno]. Congratulations from our staff."

    Northwestern Student-Athlete Quotes

    Safety Brian Peters
    On Northwestern's level of frustration after five straight loses...
    "Everyone is extremely frustrated. When you're losing games, no one is going to be happy. But we have to turn that frustration into motivation. We have to start making things happen for 60 minutes."

    On the defense's overall execution...
    "There was a tremendous sense of urgency. If you keep losing games, then you want to turn around and get back on the right track right away. You're not going to do that unless you put the pedal to the metal and everyone invests fully and shows up. We had all the guys on the field that we needed to win the game. But we didn't execute and we didn't win."

    On the issue of missing tackles...
    "Missed tackles don't win you games. Missed tackles don't get the ball back in the hands of the offense. The more we can get off the field, the better chance they [the offense] have to put points on the board. It was the tale of two halves. We showed up to play in the second half, but not in the first half."

    On how to make the offense and defense work effectively together...
    "No one has a secret recipe for it. You just have to go back to the grindstone, put in the work and fix what is going on. If you keep working at it, it's going to happen and that's what we have to do."

    Wide Receiver Jeremy Ebert
    On the offense's inconsistency throughout the second half...
    "We didn't execute when we needed to. We made some mistakes. Big players make big plays when they need to and we didn't do that tonight."

    On the loss of Dan Persa in the final minutes of the game...
    "It always hurts to lose Dan, but we've had Kain [Colter] and Trevor [Siemian] step up all season. They have made plays and we have all the confidence in the world in them. It doesn't really matter who is back there for us--we trust them all."

    Quarterback Kain Colter
    On his feelings about the game...
    "It's tough. I feel like this whole season, offense is playing good when defense is playing bad and defense is playing bad when offense is playing good. We have to be able to come together and put it all together. Once we do, we can really flip this season back around. I just feel like we're beating ourselves every week and it's really tough."

    On Penn State's defense...
    "They're pretty good. I thought our offensive line did OK throughout the game. They [Penn State] have some playmakers out there--some big boys."

    Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno

    On playing a high-scoring game and trying to keep up with Northwestern's offense...
    "I didn't know it was going to be high scoring at first. I knew Northwestern was very capable of scoring, they score against everybody. They may have lost four straight games, but they had something like 40 points in three of them against some pretty good football teams. So I figured we needed to score some points. Fortunately we did, and we stayed with them for a while...We made some adjustments, and we got ahead. The kids showed good poise on both sides of the ball. We're starting to get pretty good, but we've got a long ways to go."

    On tying Eddie Robinson's NCAA record in wins...
    "I went to bed last night and said, `Jeez, if we win tomorrow I'm gonna be tied with Eddie Robinson.' Eddie Robinson was one of the greatest guys to ever coach. He had some of the greatest athletes. Eddie and I worked together on a couple committees. Eddie Robinson was a lot more than a football coach."

    On Penn State's defense...
    "We did a better job containing, and putting ourselves in better areas. We were anxious to get to them and we got a lot of our gaps. In the second half, we used a couple more stunts and got accustomed to their quarterbacks. At halftime, we changed a couple things, and the kids did a good job in the second half."

    On the Penn State's quarterback situation...
    "We won the game! We talked to the kids about alternating from week to week, and both McGloin and Boldin knew the situation going in."

    Quarterback Matt McGloin

    On playing the whole game...
    "I wasn't really surprised. We were moving the ball great as an offense and there was really no need to float two guys in and out and I'm happy with the way we played today."

    On tonight's game...
    "We knew Northwestern had a very explicit offense and we knew we were going to have to put at least 30 to win this game. It's about time we started to help our defense out. As a quarterback, I'm lucky to have Silas [Redd] as a running back and the team is lucky to have him. He makes my job so much easier, he makes coach's job so much easier, he can explode at anytime."

    On how he played tonight...
    "On offense we love having a little bit of time left and seeing if we can get anything there. We had some good field position, play calling was great and we moved the ball right down the field."