Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Wildcats mindful of prying eyes when calling plays

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gophers game day Updated: October 12, 2012 - 9:54 AM

     The visitor's sideline at TCF Bank Stadium is across the field from the press box. So maybe the guys holding the purple "Northwestern" banner will have the day off Saturday.
     For the past couple of weeks, the Wildcats have assigned a couple of staff members to hold the banner up while Northwestern's offense was on the field, to block views from behind of the signals being relayed to the quarterback. The reason, coach Pat Fitzgerald confirmed at his weekly news conference, was a suspicion that opposing coaches in the press box may try to steal their signs.
     "Absolutely. We're smarter than we look. We know what's going on," Fitzgerald said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We're getting into Big Ten play now. We know that they know that we know."
     Familiarity breeds temptation, Fitzgerald figures, and the Wildcats have faced some Big Ten coaching staffs for several years, plenty of time to pick up a few hints about what's coming. "When you're playing in the non-conference (season), it's not as big of a concern," the eighth-year coach said. "But when you're playing in league play, like I said -- we know that they know that we know."
     There's not much that they can do to hide the signals when facing the press box, as they will against the Gophers. But Northwestern took the precaution of screening their signal-relay players from anyone watching from behind.
     But isn't it practically impossible to pick up crucial signals from behind? "You'd be surprised," Fitzgerald said.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 50 2nd Qtr 4:00
Philadelphia 48
Houston 20 1st Qtr 3:37
Boston 16
Portland 16 1st Qtr 4:20
Atlanta 12
Sacramento 16 1st Qtr 4:11
Cleveland 24
Toronto 16 1st Qtr 5:13
Brooklyn 7
Dallas 7:00 PM
Miami
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Golden State 8:00 PM
Utah
Chicago 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Pittsburgh 0 2nd Prd
New Jersey 0
St. Louis 2 2nd Prd
Carolina 1
Nashville 8:00 PM
Colorado
Buffalo 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Chicago 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Harvard 71 2nd Half 0:29
Princeton 65
Quinnipiac 25 1st Half 0:36
Canisius 33
Brown 27 2nd Half
Cornell 24
Siena 41 2nd Half
Manhattan 43
Marist 24 2nd Half
Niagara 21
Dartmouth 16 2nd Half
Penn 20
Oregon 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Yale 7:00 PM
Columbia
Monmouth 7:00 PM
Fairfield
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Oregon State 9:00 PM
Arizona
Kent State 9:00 PM
Buffalo
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 29 2nd Half
Providence 19
Cornell 31 2nd Half
Brown 26
Columbia 23 2nd Half
Yale 23
Coll of Charleston 11 2nd Half
Drexel 29
Penn 24 2nd Half
Dartmouth 14
Elon 22 2nd Half
James Madison 44
(19) Princeton 44 2nd Half
Harvard 26
(9) Florida State 42 2nd Half
Georgia Tech 28
Quinnipiac 33 2nd Half
Siena 33
Richmond 23 2nd Half
Rhode Island 28
Loyola-Chicago 28 1st Half 1:17
Southern Ill 24
Georgetown 7:00 PM
DePaul
Villanova 7:00 PM
Marquette
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Xavier 7:05 PM
Creighton
Bradley 7:05 PM
Illinois State
Missouri State 7:05 PM
Drake
Arizona 8:00 PM
Utah
(11) Arizona State 8:00 PM
Colorado
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT