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Northwestern coaches on same page?

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09:57 AM ET 11.24 | Pat Fitzgerald is unyieldingly loyal. Rarely, if ever, will he place blame on another player or coach. He almost always will assume responsibility when Northwestern struggles. He wasn't much different after the Wildcats' 30-6 loss to Michigan State on Saturday, which dashed their bowl hopes. But in defending what has been conservative play-calling this season, Fitzgerald's comments indicated he and his staff might not be on the same page. Three times Northwestern punted inside Michigan State territory, and each ensuing drive resulted in a Spartans touchdown. Fitzgerald clearly wanted to go for it before one of the punts, but he couldn't because the staff didn't have a play ready that would handle the Spartans' pressure.

Chicago Sun Times

Pat Fitzgerald, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Pat Fitzgerald, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
November 24, 2013  10:09 AM ET

When a team has suffered as many injuries as the Nerds in recent weeks, that sideline confusion is understandable. Can't open up the playbook if their subs haven't mastered it.

November 24, 2013  10:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

When a team has suffered as many injuries as the Nerds in recent weeks, that sideline confusion is understandable. Can't open up the playbook if their subs haven't mastered it.

But they have smart players Harley!!!!!

November 24, 2013  10:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

But they have smart players Harley!!!!!

Doh! I forgot that!

November 24, 2013  10:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Doh! I forgot that!

Yeah, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, Vandy etal can't use the mental capacity of their players as an excuse.

November 24, 2013  10:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Yeah, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, Vandy etal can't use the mental capacity of their players as an excuse.

True that. But the core problem remains: depth. If your starters are hurt, quality play suffers as a result. Subs are not as adept at running plays if they're lacking trigger time.

November 24, 2013  11:22 AM ET

Injuries have hit this team hard. They are a program that cannot afford it as they don't have the depth of the "traditional" teams. But that having been said they were in every B1G game until yesterday. They were victim of some bad bounces this yr.

Fight on Pat

November 24, 2013  11:26 AM ET

No bowling for NW. Has Pat Fitzgerald's coaching resume taken a hit from this losing season or what.

November 24, 2013  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

When a team has suffered as many injuries as the Nerds in recent weeks, that sideline confusion is understandable. Can't open up the playbook if their subs haven't mastered it.

Should be "on same webpage on IPad"

Comment #9 has been removed
Comment #10 has been removed
November 24, 2013  06:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

9 weeks ago Fitzgerald was being mentioned for USC and Texas. Now Fitz is being mentioned for grambling.

What has Fitzgerald ever done to you, Bob? All he's done is raise the profile of nerd football and give Northwestern CFB fans hope. That's not a bad thing, Bob, and you're a lesser life form for your baseless and inane attacks.

My name is Tin Man, and I am the original.

[Bonus points to others if you can recognize the obscure film reference. One I know because of my dear, departed aunt, who, for some reason, was fond of Kirk's son.]

Comment #12 has been removed
November 24, 2013  07:51 PM ET

Seven Days in May. Just a guess.

November 24, 2013  08:27 PM ET

My name is Andrew Shepard and I am the President.

November 24, 2013  08:32 PM ET

I think Martin Sheen and whomever produced West Wing used this movie as a main guide for the tv show.

 
Comment #16 has been removed

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