On the Links: Fitzgerald Builds a Winner; Young Bulldogs Ready

Gator Bowl: MSU (8-4) vs. No. 21 Northwestern (9-3), EverBank Field, Tuesday, 11 a.m., ESPN2 (Bob WischusenDanny Kanell and Allison Williams)


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | Welcome to game day eve, and New Year’s Eve, at that. I’ve got plenty of coverage for you as we close in on the game.

In today’s Journal, I wrote a profile of Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, who in his seventh season has built up a solid program. The school has committed to Fitzgerald (his contract runs through 2020) and to the program as a whole (a $220 million football-first facility is in the works).

MSU coach Dan Mullen sees similarities between Northwestern’s trajectory and State’s.

“They’re probably ahead of where we are, a couple of years ahead of where we are,” Mullen said. “We hope to continue to have the same sustained success that they’ve had there.”

• Also in today’s paper is a story on MSU’s young players, in particular quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Josh Robinson. We’ve seen those two take on significant backup roles this season, and they’ll probably be counted upon Tuesday.

Robinson, when asked about the progress he and fellow redshirt freshman tailback Derrick Milton have made, said, “We’ve took tremendous strides from our freshman year to right now, you can see a great amount of difference.”

• More links: From the Florida Times-Union, a story on MSU quarterback Tyler Russell. … From ESPN Chicago, three keys for Northwestern to win. … If you didn’t catch it yesterday, check out our special bowl GameDay section.

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

Posted in Football

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