Preview of Notre Dame vs Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Notre Dame looking to improve to 9-and-0 as they take on the Northwestern Wildcats right here on Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. I caught up with Chicago Tribune Sports Writer and columnist, Teddy Greenstein to get his thoughts on this matchup.
Greenstein said, "It's a weird dynamic this year, because Northwestern is really thinking about winning the Big Ten. Of course to win the Big Ten you have to get to Indy and that's what they're thinking about now. They are in control of their own destiny in the Big Ten West. If they could only have one more win, it would be the Iowa game but that's in two weeks. Notre Dame is this week and they realize they have a top 5 team coming into their building. They have an amazing chance and as Pat Fitzgerald said to us, 'We've nothing to lose.' That's the mindset, because even if they do lose this game, it doesn't effect anything in the Big Ten race."
I asked Greenstein what he thinks is going to be the biggest challenge about Notre Dame that Northwestern faces.
"I just think Clayton Thorson has to play a lot better," said Greenstein. He adds, "He checked a lot of the boxes early in the season and then he has the game against Nebraska where he's completing 40 plus passes, just an incredible game where you say 'ok, Clayton Thorson is putting his stamp as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the country' and played really poorly the week after at Rutgers, so we figured this would be a bounce gack game against Wisconsin and honestly for folks who saw the game, he was late on a lot of throws, he under threw a lot and the ones that are glaring, three interceptions. He can't be flawed to beat Notre Dame."
I asked Greenstein why Pat Fitzgerald has been so tight lipped when it came to this matchup.
"Yeah, Allison, I thought he was just kind of weird in the early go and one thing that's consistent about him is he's always ready to praise the other team, even if it's Rutgers he will find certain players to shower praise and today he said 'it's all about us.' Now, you followed up with some questions, I followed up with some questions and he did end up saying how good the Irish are, " said Greenstein. He adds, "But I think there's always something in the back of his mind when he talks about Notre Dame. It's the school that didn't recruit him, he's a south side Irish Catholic guy. I think all that plays into it, combined with 'we have to improve ourselves.' He's not a guy who wants to stand up there and talk about how great the Irish are."
This is a really great opportunity for both teams in this matchup. We will find out if the Irish can improve to 9-and-0 and we have so much coming up on ABC 57 Saturday Kickoff, a special edition. We're going to have the x's and o's, we're going to take you on a tour of the great facilities and so much more.