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    Northwestern vs. Iowa Postgame Quotes

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Oct. 27, 2012

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    Northwestern vs. Iowa
    Ryan Field
    October 27, 2012
    Postgame Quotes

    Northwestern Head Coach
    Pat Fitzgerald

    Opening statement:
    "First of all I want to say thank you to our great students for our great support that we've had all year long. It's been terrific to have that kind of home support, very thankful for it and especially here on Homecoming weekend, we've had so many great groups that were able to come back and be a part of a special weekend. We are excited to get them a win to make their reunions a little bit more fun here tonight. As a matter of fact, my class is having their 15-year reunion. I won't be there unfortunately but I hope they have a great time and [I'm glad] we were able to get a win for them. We had a real special night Thursday when we had a reunion for the 1962 team, with Paul [Flatley], Tommy [Meyers] and Jay [Robertson] on the dais with Jim Phillips. The way they described their experiences here and to be the No. 1 team in the country is what we aspire to be.

    "Obviously we are not quite there yet, but it's great to get a win and obviously a great team win for us today. To be able to run the ball the way that we did; to be able to, for the most part, really dominate defensively on third down and then on fourth down with the stops was critically important. And then another big special teams play by our young men that really capsulated a great team win. We had a very special moment in the locker room after the game where Patrick Ward presented Melanie Brockmeier with the No. 67 jersey that Patrick wore today and we lift this game up to the Brockmeier family. It was just one of those special moments that I don't think anyone in our football family will ever forget. I know the big fella is looking down upon us, smiling ear to ear, probably standing right next to Walk [Randy Walker] having a good time. With that, obviously we need this bye week. It's been a long grind to this point. Our guys have persevered and we've battled and now it's midterm time, time to go win this week academically and obviously get ready for a great opponent in a couple of weeks on the road."

    On David Nwabuisi's tackling being reminiscent of Fitzgerald and Tim McGarigle...
    "David was all over the place, don't insult his athleticism by mentioning my name. That's an insult to the young man. David is one of our senior leaders and is just playing the best football of his life. He's doing it because he's preparing the right way. He spends countless hours in the film room and I want to remind you, that's on his own, voluntarily, on top of the 20 hours that the NCAA allows us to be with him. He does that because of his love for his teammates and love of this program. He's been a very consistent player for us this year and is playing very, very well. I think that whole group -- him, Damien [Proby], and Chi Chi [Ariguzo] -- are playing very solid right now for us."

    On Trevor Siemian's role today...
    "As we went back and kind of evaluated some of the things we were doing very well, and some of the things we obviously struggled with, we felt like if we could control the line of scrimmage today, we'd give ourselves a great opportunity to win the game. Some of the things that we have done well have had Kain there at QB so we made some decisions to kind of focus on that, and for the most part that worked out efficiently today."

    On his plan for the QB tandem going forward...
    "I don't know. I mean the answer is we are going to do everything we can to win. That's the answer, to the question. But I'm not going to tell Brady [Hoke] anything. Maybe play Zack Oliver against Michigan, I don't know (laughs). I mean the game plan will dictate what we are going to do and what we see. But as far us what we are going to do and what I'm going to say, I'm going to tell you nothing and smile.

    On what they saw that led to the punt block...
    "You know, I think I've gone after Iowa, either as a head coach or a special teams coach, for 13 years and I think we've been 0-for-12. So law of averages, we are 1-for-13. We were just fortunate. [It's] Tyris [Jones] going in to make a great play. Great job by Dennis Springer scheming some things up a bit and great job by them."

    On Kain Colter...
    "He's dynamic, an explosive athlete who can do a lot of things and do them well. I think every time he touches the football he has a chance to make a big play happen. I think he's understanding how tough it is to play the Big Ten grind. And he's got to play smart, he's got to get himself down and avoid some contact. And I thought of any game this year, he did that very well here today."

    On the importance of Colter sliding...
    "Well if I were to look back at the track record of the quarterbacks here since I've been a head coach, this was a big game to get over. Just seems like the ninth game, the game against Iowa, we always have something go awry with our quarterback situation. Going back to overanalyzing everything, I'm happy that we got through it unscathed. Again, I just think he's maturing. He knows he can't make every play for a touchdown and to be able to take some hits off his body in the long run, especially here as we get to the November grind when we play two great football teams on the road and then come home and play our rival on Senior Day, he's going to need every ounce of everything he's got inside him athletically to help us find a way to win."

    Northwestern Players

    RB Venric Mark
    On how he was tackled on his breakaway run...
    "You know [Micah Hyde's] a great player. I didn't know he was behind me. It was a huge hole and honestly I thought I was going to get to the end zone but great play by him."

    On hitting the 1,000 yard milestone...
    "I'm excited but I'm not overly excited right now. We still have more games to play but I have to give credit to the offensive line."

    On Kain Colter's zone-read handoffs...
    "It's really just chemistry. Coach [Matt] MacPherson is always teaching us that on those handoffs you don't clamp down on the ball, you have to treat it like you would treat a lady-nice, calm you know? I think that's what makes it work so well."

    On relaxing during the bye week...
    "There's no relaxing. This is a bye week but at the end of the day we still have to go to Michigan and win that game so we might take a day off but we're going to stay active.

    DT Brian Arnfelt
    On emotions in the fourth quarter...
    "I was excited. It was an opportunity for our defense to step up and make plays and get more experienced."

    On S Ibraheim Campbell's recent play...
    "Ibrahim brings the pads. Regardless of if we're in pads, shells, helmets, he's always running at the ball as fast as he can. He's playing great right now."

    On what the bye week has in store...
    "It's a week where we don't have a game necessarily, but it's a week to improve. We're going to practice. It's not like we're going to be sitting around on the couch eating potato chips or anything. This team's really embraced the fact that we're going to improve this week."

    On his senior class...
    "The time just flies by. The senior class just has so many leaders. You can look across the board at all of the seniors and they're all leaders in their own ways. Everyone's on board, everyone's bought in, everyone's invested. It's been real fun."

    QB Kain Colter
    On team's offensive identity...
    "We're running the ball well and that's a key to victory. When you can dominate the line of scrimmage and control the clock that's always a good thing. We also have unselfish receivers on the outside who might not be catching passes but they're blocking and helping us out.

    On Patrick Ward wearing No. 67 in honor of the late Leon Brockmeier...
    "Pat's a very unselfish player. He's my left tackle and that's a guy that I trust to block my back side every week. The things that he's doing in the field and in the classroom, he's an outstanding guy. We just wanted to have an impact on Leon's family and I hope they can carry that with them and that it was special for them because it was really special for us."

    LB David Nwabuisi
    On his 18 tackles vs. Iowa...
    "I think as a player you have to think everyday is going to be a big day for you and for the team and for the defense. Going in we as a defense knew we were going to set the tone in this game and a lot of [plays] ended up coming my way."

    On the team's midseason grades...
    "I'd give us a B, B-plus. It's not a surprise to us where we are right now in terms of the standings. We wish we could get a play or two back but as long as we keep learning from our mistakes we'll be all right and be able to focus on our final [exam] coming up."

    Iowa Head Coach
    Kirk Ferentz

    Opening Statement...
    "Certainly disappointing to lose the game. Give Northwestern credit. They outplayed us. We didn't do the things necessary to win, and that's disappointing. I thought our guys battled and played hard right to the end, so that's certainly a positive. We're just disappointed to lose. We'll get back to work tomorrow and see what we can do about next week."

    On fourth-down decision making late in the fourth quarter...
    "We gave (kicking a field goal) some thought. We were going to need three things to happen. One, we needed a touchdown with a two-point play. If that didn't work, we'd have to go for two touchdowns. A field goal is in that equation if you make the two-point conversion and then get the ball back somehow - either an onside kick or kick it down and hope you get it back. We were moving the ball in that quarter, and I just felt like it was our best shot."

    On Ryan Field's play-clock placement...
    "They were (a problem). This is a place that's unusual -- very different on both ends. I felt, at least in two of those situations, that we had enough time to get the ball snapped. But that kind of fit in with the way things were going."

    On Mark Weisman's injury...
    "Yeah, he is injured. That's why he came out of the game. We'll see (what will happen)."

    On Iowa's run defense...
    "We played an option team today. They've had two separate styles of attack. That part we knew - everybody knew that. What we don't know is the balance chosen by them, and they did a good job, certainly. They've got two pretty explosive guys out there. The quarterback really gave us a surprise. The back came up with a big run off the ball."

    On the blocked punt's impact on the game...
    "It didn't help. Anytime you give up a blocked punt, the odds of you coming out on top really diminish a little bit. On that one I don't know if it was by their design necessarily, but we had two new players in - one new player, totally - but guys in different positions as a result of Brad's (Rogers) injury. As luck would have it in that situation we didn't communicate well enough. I think they made a shift, and we didn't communicate, and they got a guy free."

    On Venric Mark's long run...
    "The guy just came out of there. He came out last week for 80, so similar play. It was a quick hitting play. That was representative of the way, especially, the first half went. We didn't have a lot of good plays in that first half. Beautiful punt by John. A great kill inside there by Micah. The one-yard line - you couldn't ask for a better situation. They came right out of their sets, and it impacted momentum a great deal, and it changed field position real quickly there."

    On defending Kain Colter...
    "He is just a very explosive athlete. Both him and Mark, they're quick, smart and instinctive. He did a good job against us last year. I'm not totally surprised how they played it today. I don't know what their plan was going in, but they were having good success with that. He is a tough guy to contain. Running quarterbacks, I can think of three right now in our conference, including him. It's very, very challenging to defend."

    On the state of Iowa football...
    "We're 4-4. We've lost two straight. It's always hard anytime you lose. That's tough -- two in a row. There aren't many options. You go back to work tomorrow and get back up on our feet. That's the only choice that we have."

    Iowa Player Quotes

    QB James Vandenberg
    On keeping up with Northwestern's offense...
    "You got to keep playing your game and we didn't execute a lot of drives that we moved the ball well [on]. When you're playing a really talented offense, like they are, they're going to score points. You have to get 7's when you get those opportunities and we didn't do that well enough in the first half."

    On [Vandenberg's] position in the offense...
    "It's different. I think we're all confident that we can run it and we can have success in the end. We have to get better, execute better, and to process better. I think we're all on the same page and we're comfortable with what we're doing."

    On rebounding and heading back on the road...
    "We have to get right back to work, go to Indiana next weekend. It certainly won't be any easier, so we're up for the challenge. We have to get on this film and make some corrections."

    OL Matt Tobin
    On "bad" plays...
    "Situations like that, you have to make sure you're doing your technique, [the] little details, and communicating with each other."

    On having Damon [Bullock] back...
    "It was nice seeing him out there. He's got good eyes and he runs hard."

    On the final push to the Bowl games...
    "We have to just keep playing hard, keep working hard and keep doing what the coach tells us to."