Trevor Siemian is looking forward to the upcoming season.
Northwestern is coming off a 10-3 season that included a 34-20 victory over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. It was the first bowl victory in more than six decades and the buzz from that win is still alive and well within the program.
Siemian will start his junior year with the Wildcats. Last season, the former Olympia High star, shared the quarterback duties with teammate Kain Colter.
Q: How did you see last season turning out?
Trevor Siemian: “It went well. It was the first 10-win season in awhile. It was our first bowl win in 64-or-65 years, I’m not sure, but as good as it was I think everyone on the team knows it could have been a little bit better. It was a really special year, but that’s in the past now and we’re really excited about going forward and going into next year.”
Q: What are the major differences from high school to college?
TS: “As a quarterback, it would probably be the speed of the game. When you get to the college level, everyone is a good athlete. You aren’t going to be able to beat people just on athleticism. In my position, for sure, just being able to read defenses and to make reads and make decisions quickly. That was probably the biggest jump. Just being able to make decisions quicker than I had.”
Q: Bigger adjustment: college football or Chicago winters?
TS: “It might be the winters to tell you the truth. I’m actually battling a little cold right now that I probably have the weather to thank right now. It’s tough. I’m still not used to it no matter what everyone tells you about getting used to it. I think that’s a bunch of baloney. Minus the weather, I’m having a good time.”
Q: You got to play in front of your family and friends at the Gator Bowl, describe what that was like?
TS: “I had a bunch of people come to the game … my family and a bunch of friends. It was definitely cool. I didn’t go to a state school or somewhere around home where everyone could watch me play every weekend, but my parent make it up to a lot of the games. I think the special thing was being able to play in front of a bunch of my friends. A lot of them probably haven’t seen me play before.”
Q: How did it feel to know that you were the first team to win a bowl game since the back in the 1949s?
TS: “It’s a huge monkey off the program’s back. As far as for the players, it’s just another step for us to try and win a Big Ten championship again and getting to the Rose Bowl. It was nice that we finally did it, it was about time, but I think taking that next step is the biggest thing for us right now.”
Q: What do you think you guys have to do to get to that next step?
TS: “We were real close last year. I think it came down to just being able to finish ball games. We had a couple of teams on the ropes last year late in games in the fourth quarter and we couldn’t seal the deal. I think if we are able to do that, we have a chance to have a pretty special year coming up.”
Q: What can you learn from spring practice?
TS: “Spring is a good time to pick a couple of things up out of your game and work on them. For me, I’m really trying to take another step in the command of the offense … to be able to master the offense. Mechanically, you can always get better with your feet, your throwing and your accuracy along with your arm strength. Also to take another step on the leadership side of my game too.”
Q: Tell me something about coach Pat Fitzgerald that most people don’t know about?
TS: “ I think the one word that resonates when you talk about Pat Fitzgerald is passion. I think that resonates with the team. I think you see that when you watch us play. We’re a passionate group of guys … about each other and about the game and about Northwestern. I think that’s one thing that really reflects on us as a team is Coach Fitz’s passion for sure.”
Q: What’s it been like sharing time with Kain Colter?
TS: “I think It worked well. I think it worked because we both complement each other. Some things that I can’t do very well and I’m able to do some things to help our team out as well. The fact that we are good buddies helps out. A lot of times where there are places that have a quarterback competition it can tear a team apart or split a team in two. Me and him being on the same page has really helped out. It’s awesome playing with Kain.”
Q: What kind of goals do you have for this season?
TS: “I like to take it day-by-day. I really believe that if you’re not getting better, you ‘re getting worse. So every day, I try to make little improvements in my game.
Q: What are you looking forward to this season?
TS: “Tough question. Hopefully a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl. We have a lot of talent coming back and we’ve lost a couple of seniors that really helped us out. … There’s a cool energy around the program coming off that bowl win and the season we had. I think just being able to carry that momentum into next year will be big for us.”
Don't forget about Matt's Murschel's weekly mail bag. If you have any college football questions you would like answered or just issues or players you would like his thoughts on please email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.