Wildcats turn the page

PurpleWildcats.com Publisher
Posted Oct 22, 2012

Northwestern lost a heartbreaker to Nebraska, letting a 12-point lead slip away. That's now a thing of the past for the Wildcats, who claim they have flushed it away and moved on. The next challenger, Iowa, won't be easy.

The Northwestern Wildcats reconvened as a team on Monday morning, reviewed film from their heartbreaking loss to Nebraska, then it was over. Turn the page to Iowa week.

While the message board threads drudge on with gripes and groans from Saturday's defeat, NU has shifted its focus to the next challenge.

"Football players and athletes are a lot different than fans," said head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "As a competitor, you move on—quickly. You get back to work. We were back at it this morning; our fans can't get back to it till Saturday."

NU was forced to respond following a devastating loss to Penn State, and did so with win over Minnesota one week later.

It coincides with the Wildcats' prevailing theme this season—go 1-and-0 each week. The results from each Saturday are quickly forgotten as a new test awaits.

"It doesn't matter if it's a win or a loss, you've got to get over it and move on," said running back Mike Trumpy.

In 2011, Northwestern dropped five consecutive games, stemmed by a gut-wrenching loss to Army in the season's third game. One painful loss spiraled into many more. The Wildcats have learned from that experience which proved the importance flushing a loss.

"Don't let Nebraska beat you twice," Trumpy stated. "We lost to them this past week. Don't let that effect the way you think or prepare for Iowa."

With a quick glimpse ahead, the Wildcats will see their goals are still in tact. A trip to the Big Ten championship is still attainable, though the road to Indianapolis is a bit longer. The Wildcats aren't dwelling on the past, but rather looking ahead.

"We've got to come every day with a positive attitude," linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo said. "We're still a 6-and-2 football team. There are still four games left for us to win."

The message delivered by Coach Fitzgerald is 'move on,' a formula for each game. He remains optimistic the Wildcats will follow suit and push forward.

"This is what I do know about our ballclub, we'll fight our tails off," Fitzgerald said. "We're a physical ballclub and we'll fight. If we can coach them up a little better and make a couple more plays, I think we've got a chance for a special season."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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