Despite beating a ranked Stanford team to open the season with an upset, Pat Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with the Northwestern players, calling the performance average.
Northwestern beat the #21 ranked Stanford 16-6 at Evanston, although The Cardinal won’t be ranked once the new polls come out. Quarterback Clayton Thorson scored the only touchdown of the game with a 42-yard run. The freshman didn’t turn over the ball as well. But Fitzgerald is about seeing the negative.
He walked out of the film room today going, ‘Whoa! I got away with some… I better not do that again.’ He didn’t walk in this morning saying ‘wow, I’ve arrived.’ He walked in saying “wow, I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
After watching the video, there aren’t too many big heads around here right now. The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. I’m tired of being average. And average comes from being inconsistent. I thought we had a very average performance as a football team on Saturday. I think we can be much better in all three phases.
We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a long, long way to go offensively. I thought we had too many one-man breakdowns that left a lot of yards and a lot of opportunity out there. The guys on the offensive line were very average. We’ve got a long way to go there. Very inconsistent. I thought our body language at times was very poor. When we started going with some tempo, the last group to get lined up was the o-line. The last group to make a call was the o-line. The last group to do what was right was the o-line. That’s not acceptable. They’ve got a lot of work to do. They are far, far from being a finished product. We didn’t play enough guys. Right now, we don’t have a consistent five, we’re not there yet. We’re not even close to being there yet. So a lot of work for that group. A lot of work…That was the group I was probably most disappointed with.
It’s easier criticizing your team after losses, part of the coaching routine, which is often about praising the good things in a loss. But Fitzgerald does seem unhappy and not too impressed with the Wildcats’ opening win of the season, which was over a ranked team. Right now, they’re the only ranked team they’re schedueled to meet this season.
Fitzgerald is into his 10th season at Northwestern, going 61-53 since 2006, although their last winning season came in 2012, peaking at 10-3 and finishing the season at #17 following their Gator Bowl win, Fitzgerald’s only bowl win at Evanston.