Oct. 23, 2011
Box Score |
Northwestern vs. Penn State
Oct. 22, 2011
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
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
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
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."