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Fitzgerald hopes to rebound with bowl bid

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald plans to go recruiting Monday, but said he will then get his team ready to play in its bowl game, if the Wildcats are invited.

"We will coach our tails off this next month," he said after their 31-17 loss to Michigan State on Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field. "We're going to go right back to work on Tuesday. Those young guys that have been out there are going to go back out and practice their butts off. We're going to grind them up for the next week until we find out who we're going to play."

Speaking of that bowl game, Fitzgerald had a message for his team regarding its postseason plans.

"I told the guys after the game, I think it's been since running water, indoor-outdoor plumbing since we won a bowl game."

The high-energy coach knows his team made too many mental mistakes this year.

"Nobody stopped our offense this year except for us," he said. "And defensively when we play the way we're capable of, don't get the ball thrown over our head, we're pretty good. So that's what we expect to do in our next game."