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Everything Pat Fitzgerald Said Following Northwestern's 56-7 Loss to Nebraska

Here's what Fitz had to say about his team's performance in Lincoln.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald and a handful of student-athletes met with the media following Saturday's 56-7 loss on the road to Nebraska. You can watch the full press conference at the top of this page.

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald

Opening Statement

"Obviously not our night and credit Nebraska. They played incredibly well ... We have quite a few guys that got banged up and so we'll need the bye week to get healthy and go from there. Nebraska obviously had a great game plan and they executed very well. We're not where we want to be and, as I told the guys after the game, when we land at O'Hare tonight, this game is over and we're moving on. Sometimes it's just not your night and tonight was not our night. I'm really disappointed. There are a lot of things that we have to fix first and foremost as coaches, and then we've got to present a great plan to our guys. We've got to practice our tails off. We've got to dig ourselves out of this hole. That's the plan."

On QB Ryan Hilinski and the Game Plan

"We felt like we had to have balance [between the run and pass game]. We felt like we had some things that we could take advantage of in our passing game. Sometimes we were able to do that and then obviously at times we were not. I'm proud of Ryan. I thought he fought through and took a lot of hits tonight. I thought he battled his tail off. He's got to keep growing, keep working hard and he will. With that will come plays. I thought some of our receivers made some good plays for us tonight."

On Fans Worried About the Defensive Strategy

"I don't blame them for being upset, but nobody's more upset than I am. We didn't stop triple option today. They ran a split flow option play that they'd shown that we had practiced, but they ran it a little bit differently ... We've got to get that corrected as coaches and that's on us ... Ultimately I'm the guy who's responsible for the way we play. I've got great confidence in our defensive staff and our defensive players. We just got to get them going. Prior to this we had six straight shutout quarters, if I'm not mistaken. Obviously tonight was not our night."

On the Team's Focus During the Bye Week

"Number one, we got to get a better plan. Number two, we got to practice well. Three, we got to execute the game plan. Four, we got to adjust. Five, we got to keep the ball inside in front and can't give up explosive plays. And then we got to adjust as they adjust. It's really that that's simplistic."

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Sep 16, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka (L) talks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Chiefs won 42-37. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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On Needing to Start Games Off Strong

"We had an opportunity to make a big play in the first play of the game right. They made the play and we didn't. I think that kind of snowballed a little bit from there ... Then self inflicted wounds, a little bit all offensively. We got into a two score game and then we obviously gave up another quick one. We moved the ball well down the field and then we turned it over in the scoring zone. That again would have made it a two score game ... We started fast in a couple games and we haven't and others. We've got to get that fixed to be a consistently winning team."

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