Coach Pat Fitzgerald not thrilled with NU’s defense
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org September 29, 2012 9:12PM
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:49AM
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald was thrilled with his offense’s record-setting day, but he was less than pleased with a defense that allowed four second-half touchdowns in a 44-29 victory Saturday against Indiana.
The Wildcats led 20-0 at the half but were outscored 29-24 in the second half.
‘‘We talked about it at halftime, the game being 0-0 and we had to go out and win the second half,’’ Fitzgerald said. ‘‘We failed miserably.’’
The Hoosiers made several big plays in the passing game despite NU’s defensive backs being in position. Several times, an Indiana player came down with a jump ball.
All told, 103 of the Hoosiers’ 159 rushing yards and 179 of their 266 passing yards came in the second half.
Fitzgerald also was disgusted with NU’s kickoff coverage on Tevin Coleman’s 96-yard return in the third quarter. He said he would make personnel changes if he isn’t satisfied with what he sees when he watches the tape.
‘‘I promise you we’ll get that shored up,’’ he said. ‘‘We knew what they were going to do. They did it, and we didn’t execute.’’
Safety Ibraheim Campbell and receiver Christian Jones left the game with injuries and didn’t return, although Fitzgerald said both players gave him ‘‘positive responses’’ when he asked about them after the game. Jones injured his elbow, and it appeared Campbell suffered a shoulder injury.
Wildcats players wore stickers on their helmets in memory of former offensive lineman Leon Brockmeier, who died of natural causes last week at 34.