NU coach reports Dan Persa's foot is OK

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa left Saturday’s loss to Penn State in the fourth quarter after hurting his left ankle, but coach Pat Fitzgerald said he would be fine.

Fitzgerald noted that the latest Persa setback had nothing to do with the right Achilles injury which gave him issues earlier in the year.

"It had nothing to do with his Achilles," Fitzgerald said. "He injured his foot. I think he possibly could have gone back into the game, but we made a decision to take him out."

Fitz loves JoePa: With the win Saturday night, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is now tied with Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson for most victories in Division I history with 408. It's a feat that Fitzgerald went out of his way to acknowledge after the game.

"There's a reason why coach Paterno is tied with Eddie Robinson, he's the best ever," Fitzgerald said. "It was an opportunity for us that we let slip away, but first and foremost I want to give great credit to Coach Paterno. Unbelievable milestone that he was able to accomplish. I'm kind of tired that it keeps happening against us quite frankly. I want to congratulate him from our entire football program. A great role model of trust, a great role model of consistency. Not only on his part, but also on the university understanding and believing what football coaches are trying to do and that's to develop young men. And there's no better role model for that than Joe, so congratulations to him."

The last word: Fitzgerald on his team's continued struggles: "Any time you self-inflict a wound, it's tough."