EVANSTON, Ill. - Things are starting to look up for Northwestern.
After starting the season 0-2, the Wildcats got back into the win column Saturday night, beating Duke 24-13.
One of the biggest factors - fans.
Most notably students, who return to class tomorrow.
Given their show of support this weekend, they should remain a strong presence throughout the season.
Another reason for purple pride - Austin Carr.
The former walk-on reeled in six passes for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Blue Devils, bringing his season total to 18 catches and 283 yards - the most in the Big Ten.
With the passing game clicking again and the defense giving up just over 14 points a game, why does Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald still consider the team a 'work in progress?'
"I just don't think we have enough guys that trust themselves. I don't think we have enough guys that cut it loose. I think they get in their own head," remarked Fitzgerald. "The old 'woosah' - I've done more of that this year than I have in my career here. Couple guys that are way too sensitive. You miss a block - who cares? Learn from it. Go block them the next play."
While he didn't exclusively single out the offensive line, he did mention the beleaguered group more than once and rightfully so.
The Wildcats are the worst in the Big Ten in sacks allowed with eleven and also rank dead last in rushing yards per game as the only team in the conference averaging under 100 yards.
"I think if I had little more depth in some of the areas, I'd make some more changes just to give guys - if anything else - to step back for a second, exhale, relax and then go back in and play some more," Fitzgerald noted. "Sometimes when you've got experience you can handle that. Some guys right now have to settle down and play. That's on us as coaches. We've got to get them to do that."