Dec. 28, 2010
MESQUITE, Texas -- Northwestern opened its TicketCity Bowl week in Dallas on a chilly and rainy Tuesday morning with a practice at E.H. Hanby Stadium in Mesquite.
The Wildcats arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport at 10:40 p.m. Monday night following a three-hour flight delay after the aircraft was held up in Florida en route to get NU to fix a mechanical problem. After being welcomed to the team's host hotel with fresh-popped popcorn and snacks, NU quickly went to bed in anticipation of Tuesday morning's practice.
Gray skies and temperatures in the mid-40s greeted Northwestern as it took the practice field. Light sprinkles eventually gave way to a steady downpour during warm-ups, but the precipitation abated soon after and the Wildcats went through a typical fast-paced 18-period workout.
"I like the way our offense took care of the football today in the worst weather we've practice in for a while," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "We were a little late getting down here yesterday, but it is great to be in Dallas and we're excited for the opportunity in front of us this week."
After practice, Northwestern enjoyed a barbeque lunch provided by a local restaurant.
Northwestern will have meetings and much of the afternoon off before heading to the House of Blues tonight at 7:15 p.m. CT for the Wildcats' TicketCity Bowl Team Welcome Party.
Due to continued rain in the forecast, Northwestern will practice indoors at TCU on Wednesday.
Stefan Demos and Jeff Budzien went a combined 8-for-8 during field goal drills while the long snappers were picture perfect on every snap in a driving rain.
During one-on-one drills, Demetrius Fields made a tremendous one-handed catch on a ball from Evan Watkins.
NU's starting offense found the end zone on four out of five plays during a drill from just inside the 10-yard-line.
Against the scout team offense, Hunter Bates recorded a pick-six before Brian Peters intercepted a pass just two plays later.