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Pat Fitzgerald will give young Northwestern players close look vs. Western Michigan


No. 17 Northwestern vs Western Michigan

The facts: 8 p.m., BTN, 1000-AM.

The records: Northwestern 2-0, Western Michigan 0-2.

The line: Northwestern by 301⁄2.

Updated: October 15, 2013 7:30AM

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said all he needed to do was show his players tape on Western Michigan to prove that despite an 0-2 start, the Broncos are a talented team that can’t be taken lightly.

If that didn’t work, Fitzgerald sent a message to his team in practice. It might take a minimal effort to win Saturday night, but knowing Fitzgerald will use the game to make personnel decisions is sure to provide extra motivation.

Fitzgerald said, in particular, he will closely watch his redshirt freshmen and true sophomores. Through the first two games, that group has been a major contributor.

“The offseason was very positive for that group collectively and we’re improving there,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re not where we need to be — and I’m not going to mention names — but the guys know who they are. The great thing about games is the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.”

Redshirt freshman guard Ian Park, redshirt freshman corner Dwight White, sophomore superback Dan Vitale, sophomore defensive end Dean Lowry and sophomore safety Traveon Henry will start. Redshirt freshman Malin Jones (running back) and Ifeadi Odenigbo (defensive end) will see playing time.


Twitter: @SethGruen

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