Pat Fitzgerald reached for the Meineke Car Care Bowl program and thumbed to the Wildcats' season-in-review section.
Despite Fitzgerald's (and his staff's) philosophy of "flushing" losses in a 24-hour period, he did point to a few games from the 2011 season that were winnable. And maybe they still stick in Fitzgerald's mind and bother him a bit.
"I look at a lot of missed opportunites," Fitzgerald said as he checked off the five consecutive losses from a season ago.
"You look at some of those games, especially starting early in the season. Very easily we should have won the Army game, the game in Champaign [against Illinois], Michigan, Iowa, Penn State; that run there we could have won any one of those five games. That could have been a real catalyst to a special year."
But spring football is like spring training: a rebirth and a renewal akin to the season itself. Fitzgerald doesn't want to compare this team to last year's or the year before, but he does see something different in each group. The 2012 edition is no exception.
"This first phase from January through now you get to learn what that early personality [of the team] is going to be," Fitzgerald said. "I see a real hunger in this group. They've been working dilligently to work together and form great chemistry, which I'm very pleased with.
"I get a sense of hunger in them. They've had a tremendous attitude and spirit about them. Our goal was to bring this team together sooner."