It's only Tuesday, but there was already an electric buzz going through Northwestern's campus this morning at practice. Game day is four days away, and if the Wildcats' practices get more intense as the week goes on then Michigan State might be in for a rude awakening Saturday morning.
"I'm really happy with [practice]," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "I thought we came back with a really physical practice, so it was good. We've worked our butts off the last two weeks to try and improve."
At Monday's press conference, Fitzgerald was asked if it helps that NU is the underdog Saturday. He responded that the Wildcats have basically been underdogs since "the 70s."
And on Monday there was also the question -- again -- of whether to rely on the pass or the running game. If quarterback Dan Persa's passing isn't broken, then don't fix it by trying to incorporate the run, right? At least that's what critics say, especially after the Purdue loss. Persa said the pass balances out the run. Fitzgerald just wants to win ballgames, but knows he has to run, particularly when NU is in the red zone.
"You want to have balance to control the football, move the football and be able to score," Fitzgerald said. "You have to be able to run the football and try to have more success in the red zone trying to run the football. We're going to do whatever we can to win. Some things have been positive and there's a lot of room for improvement. The running game is one of those things."