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Pat Fitzgerald save game ball for longtime assistant Jerry Brown

Updated: December 26, 2012 9:47AM

Saturday’s 50-14 victory over Illinois was coach Pat Fitzgerald’s 49th career win at Northwestern, tying him with Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf for first on the school all-time list, but he wasn’t overly impressed with making history.In fact, he gave the game ball to longtime assistant

Jerry Brown , who has been on the Northwestern staff for 20 seasons.

“Today was Jerry Brown’s 118th win as Wildcat assistant coach,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ll start talking about wins myself when I get to 118 or 119. That’s what it’s all about, men like Jerry who have led and developed so many of our former players in the locker room.”

Praise for Budzien

Jeff Budzien kicked field goals of 44 and 36 yards. He is 17-for-18 this season. His only miss was a 53-yard potential game-winner against Nebraska.

“How he’s not a finalist for the [Lou] Groza Award [given to the nation’s best kicker] makes me scratch my head,” Fitzgerald said. “I have no idea. I’m getting off that voting. I’m not doing it anymore.

‘‘He has missed one field goal and it was from [53 yards]. He has had a terrific season and should have been a finalist all along.”


Illinois had two sideline-interference penalties, an illegal-numbering penalty and two turnovers in the first quarter alone. The second sideline-interference penalty came when the official tripped over Illini coach Tim Beckman after David Nwabuisi intercepted a pass by Nathan Scheelhaase late in the first quarter. Nwabuisi was approaching the same sideline at the time.

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