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Everything Pat Fitzgerald Said After Northwestern's Week 4 Win Over Ohio

Fitz talks Ryan Family donation, Hilinski as QB1, Evan Hull's run game and more.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald met with the media following the Wildcats' 35-6 victory over the Ohio Bobcats Saturday afternoon. You can watch the full press conference at the top of this page. 

On the Ryan Family's $480 million gift to Northwestern

"Thanks everybody for being here this afternoon, sorry for the voice, I apologize in advance. First of all, obviously a huge amount of gratitude and thanks for the amazing generosity, support, faith and commitment from the Ryan family here this week. It's been an amazing, amazing run that they dad of giving to the holistic approach of giving here at Northwestern. It impacts our students, faculty, and staff, the Evanston community and obviously the football program. We're grateful. I don't think I can put into words exactly how I think everyone thats ever put on the purple and white could ever express or say to Shirley and Pat, Corbett, Rob, Pat Jr. and their families. Their generosity is unmatched unparalleled in our University's history and throughout Chicago -- their giving has made a huge impact on so many lives. From the bottom of our heart as a football program we're incredibly thankful, we're obviously incredibly excited, and we look forward to working through that process."

On His Overall Reaction to Saturday's Win: 

"Just a really all around great day, and a great week for our football program and a great response by our team today. I thought that we started really wanting to, carrying over the momentum for the second half down in Durham last week. I thought for the most part, outside of a couple plays, we really took care of the football very well, which is something that we obviously emphasize all the time but were able to do that today. Then, the ability to run the football and I thought Evan [Hull] was outstanding playing behind our offensive line that played really physical. Tons of things to clean up before we get back into Big Ten play. Nonetheless, a great team win and I'm really proud of the way the guys responded." 

On Ryan Hilinski Replacing Hunter Johnson as Northwestern's Starting Quarterback:

Like I said after the [Duke] game, we've just got to take care of the football better. I just felt like it was the right time to make a change. I'm really proud of Hunter -- he's overcome a ton -- and he's going to continue to grow. We're going to continue to try to help him stay ready to play if his number gets called. We thought Ryan, last week, played pretty well. He came in and gave us a spark after Andrew [Marty] went down and I thought he played pretty well. He took care of the football, he had one mental error that almost cost us, but he'll learn from that and be better as he moves forward. I'm proud of the way he played in his first real start. He did a really good job."

On the Team's Week-to-Week Development:

"We're just trying to improve and get better. I've been down this road before. So, you just gotta take that improvement mentality and try to get 1% better with every rep in practice. We're playing as many guys as I've ever played and we have to. Our hope is that as time goes on throughout this year, we start to get more consistency in play. That's what our goal is as a coaching staff. That's what we're going to work and be tireless with. As long as we take care of and take it away, we give ourselves an opportunity to win every game. That's typically been our recipe for success."

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On Evan Hull's 216 Rushing Yards and 2 Touchdowns:

"I think Evan's tough. I think he's gritty. I think he's a guy that just embraces being the feature back. His work ethic is incredible. He's a guy that's one of the first in the building and one of the last to leave. He loves the ball in his hand but is a really good route runner. He's tough in protection. He's a complete back. We were really excited with him and Cam [Porter] going into this season, and now obviously the situation has changed. I think Tre [Tyus III] and Drew [Andrew Clair] are complimenting him well. To get everybody involved in the backfield here today was fun, but I think he [Hull] is playing at a really high level. We're going to need him. I think if he continues on this path, he puts himself in the conversation of being an All-Big Ten back. That's what we thought would happen in recruiting as he developed. Obviously, now, the heavy lifting comes as we start playing Big Ten defenses."

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