Chicago Sun-Times
with Tina Akouris

Despite losing streak, Fitzgerald optimistic

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            "It's been a long month," coach Pat Fitzgerald said after Tuesday's practice.

            He's not kidding.

            The Wildcats want to snap a four-game losing streak against Penn State Saturday night. And after watching Tuesday's practice, it seems like the Wildcats are going into the game with a full head of steam.

            But Fitzgerald did acknowledge that the Wildcats have found new ways to lose.

            The last time the Wildcats lost more than three consecutive games under Fitzgerald was in 2006 -- Fitzgerald's first year as head coach -- when NU lost six in a row and finished 4-8, 2-6. Since then, the longest losing streak the Wildcats have had -- besides this one -- was three in 2007 and 2010.

            "We've invented new ways to end up on the short end and we've got to flip it back over," Fitzgerald said. "If we were playing like warm garbage, I'd be struggling right now but we're not. We're just not making the plays that winners make down the stretch in games and that's what we have to coach the guys better to do. I watch a lot of teams as I get my chances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays that are playing like garbage. We're not."

            Other Wildcat nuggets:

            * Fitzgerald said former NU quarterback and current Eagle Mike Kafka is coming back Friday for Homecoming and will talk to the team.

            * Dan Persa shaved his head Sunday. "I had head lice," he said.

            No, he didn't. He was just kidding.

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This page contains a single entry by Tina Akouris published on October 18, 2011 12:21 PM.

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